Joe Effiong, Uyo
A new pressure group known as Akwa Ibom Avengers has emerged with the sole purpose of “fighting for the liberation of the Oil Producing Areas and Akwa Ibom in general.”
Our correspondent gathered that the group was formed on June 3 2019, by ex-militants from Akwa Ibom State said to have been involved in the Niger Delta struggle. They gathered at the coastal area of Ibeno Local Government Area of the state, to discuss the effect of the “oil operation, marginalisation and neglect of the oil-producing area by the Federal government of Nigeria and the multinational oil companies.”
A press release signed by “Gen”Ekpo Ekpo and Comdr Jimmy Ulor, leader and spokesman of the group, and made available to our correspondent said the group was formed after careful deliberation, leading to the general house adopting the name among other resolutions.
The Akwa Ibom Avengers asked the government to dissolve all Community Relations Committee (CRC) and set up a central committee which shall include the representatives of the youths, women and ex-militant leaders, saying the present members of the committee had failed by conniving with the companies to defraud the community of their benefits.
“It is very shameful that we have CRC members but today Akwa Ibom has less than 7% of their indigenes working in the oil, gas and servicing companies operating in the state, while the major contracts/supplies both onshore and offshore, have been given to non- indigenes; this is against the Local Content Law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We totally condemn the recent plan by Total E&P Nigeria Limited to award surveillance job directly to the communities through the traditional rulers which is against such practice in other states of the Niger Delta and the reintegration process of the Federal government. We, therefore, demand that the award of such contract be given to ex-militant leaders.
“We hereby give Exxon Mobil, other major oil companies and service companies three months ultimatum to staff all the indigenes of Akwa Ibom State working with them as contract staff (slaves). We also demand that Mobil should return all their unprofessional foreigners who they brought into Nigeria just to stay in the office and carry files around while they are being paid as expatriates.
“We also demand that Oriental Energy, Addax, Moni-Pulo, Chevron, Amni International, Universal Energy, Frontier Oil, Total, Mobil and many others including their servicing companies should relocate their headquarters to Akwa Ibom, and implement Local Content Policy or are prepared to leave.
“Finally, we call all the Federal government of Nigeria, the government of Akwa Ibom State, the DPR, the NNPC to call all these companies to order otherwise we will be left with no other option than to shut down their operation in the state,” the group threatened.