HUNDREDS of Isoko youths, yesterday, barricaded the operational base of Mid-Western Oil and Gas Company in Ozoro, Isoko North Local Government Area, Delta State, in protest against the company’s alleged unwillingness to employ and award contracts to the people of Isoko nation.
The protesters, who called themselves members of Association of Indigenous Contractors, under the aegis of Isoko Indigenous Synergy Contractors Limited, comprising skilled and unskilled workers, stormed the operational field of the company chanting war songs with placards that bore different inscriptions, such as “No to non-employment of Isoko youths”; “Stop marginalizing Isoko Indigenous Synergy Contractors Limited”; “Isoko Youths demand for justice and fair treatment,” amongst others.
Speaking during the protest, President General of Isoko Progressive Youth Centre, Mr. Anthony Ogbalor, condemned the company’s alleged nonchalant attitude to the Isoko Indigenous Synergy Contractors, noting that the protest will continue until the plight of the youths was addressed.
“Following the action of Mid-Western Oil and Gas Company, the association will not relent in its struggle until companies working in Isoko land grant us our request,” he said.
On his part, Chairman of Emevor Clan Indigenous Synergy Contractors, Mr Simon Ologbo, said that the youths embarked on the protest following the company’s failure to address their grievances, after series of letters, adding that a 14-day ultimatum was given to the company to have a dialogue with the communities, but same was disregarded by the company.