The member representing Esit Eket/Ibeno State Constituency in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt Hon. Usoro Akpanusoh has intervened in the ongoing feud between the Youths of Esit Eket and Eket local government areas and the Frontier Oil Company.
The cause of the feud is the alleged marginalization of the host community by Frontier Oil Company.
At the gathering of the host community and management of Frontier Oil, in the office of the Chairman, Esit Eket local government council, Hon. Usoro Akpanusoh appealed to the parties involved to be peaceful and patient for an amicable resolution of the dispute.
The Lawmaker however frowned that Mr. Wole Adefila, the General Manger of the Oil Firm, was the only one present to represent Frontier Oil at the meeting.
He therefore proposed that Tuesday, June 25, 2019, be fixed for another meeting to accord the General Manager ample time to appear with his Management team to aid in the resolution of the lingering issues.
Akpanusoh further advised that the Company’s status quo of non-operations be maintained up until all issues have been resolved.
The Lawmaker who met with various Youths groups at different locations of the Frontier Oil Facilities where the protests were ongoing, charged them to protest peacefully and responsibly, warning them against turning it into restiveness, thus taking the laws into their hands.
He assured them that Governor Udom Emmanuel and the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey, were aware of their plights and were ready to make the Company to comply with their demands.
At the Central Processing Facility, Uquo plant, Akpanusoh said modalities have been set up by the governor to meet with the parties and ensure that the matter is resolved amicably.
Responding on behalf of the protesting youths at Uquo, Mr Imoh Samuel Bassey, the Youth President, lamented that youths were not happy with the method of recruitment employed by the company. He said that “the company’s refusal to employ youths from the area was not due to lack of graduates from the area but that the company does not see the need to include youths of the area in the operations of the company”.
Bassey reiterated that they were not protesting to stop the company from operating but needed them to live up to their obligations to the community, adding that simple things like cleaning of gutters and washing of tanks in the company were given to people from Lagos instead of youths from the area.
At the tank farm in Idung Akpentuen, one of Frontier’s Oil wells, Akpanusoh appealed to the youth not to allow criminals hijack the peaceful demonstration but that they should show their grievance with civility, adding that himself and the two local government chairmen, elders and stakeholders in the area were on top of the situation.
He assured them that by the end of the meeting rescheduled for Tuesday, the parties involved will ensure that the unlawful breach of the local contents law will be adhered to strictly. He added that as a representative of the constituency, he will ensure that the process is done in strict compliance with the MoU.
Speaking on behalf of the youths, the Youth President of Edo group of villages at the Frontier Oil Central Processing Facility, Mr Harrison Johnson assured that they will conduct themselves orderly during the protest. He requested that the company should keep its recruitment processes open to members of the community, and added that if the company lives up to its corporate social responsibility, they (youths) will ensure a harmonious relationship is created between them.
At Ebe Ekpi Frontier Oil Well 3, the Youth President, Mr Mfonobong Job and the Secretary, Mr Iniobong Silas, took time to intimate the member representing the constituency on reasons they felt marginalized and ill-treated. They lamented with dismay that the community was under severe maltreatment from the security personnel of the company as women of the area who used the company’s access road to their farms were molested, intimidated and harassed by the soldiers manning the company’s property.
They condemned in strong terms the maltreatment meted on them, insisting that if the company wants to keep operating in peace, they should treat the people of the area as humans, replace the vacant space of one of the deceased security personnel and also pay his family his due entitlements.