-By Michael EKOKORUWE:
The Isoko National Youth Council led by its President Comrade Utomudo Fidelis, has staged a peaceful protest to agitate for the marginalization of Isoko youth on employment, surveillance of oil facilities and denial of contractor and managerial slots by Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited.
The youths in their numbers chanting songs with placards having various inscriptions as “Heritage stop the marginalization of Isoko youths”, Job opportunities should be given to Isoko youths”, we are graduates with skills and not gatemen, engage Isoko youths” among others, matched through Olomoro road to the gate of the oil firm, at Olomoro flow station. They were resisted entrance to the company’s premises by soldiers from the Nigeria army 222 battalion Agbaro – Otor Unit command.
Speaking to Newsmen, Comrade Utomudo said, several letters and calls were sent to the management of Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited, but no response which according to him led to the peaceful protest. He stated that the oil firm should engage the youths and take them from the streets to curb youth restiveness in the society.
While responding on behalf of Heritage Energy operational Services Limited, Comrade Austin Ovouzorie Akporero, the C.L.O and interface between the oil company and community commended the youth for the peaceful protest and assured them that their requests will be passed to the management of the oil firm. He frowned at the frequent protests rocking the oil firm, especially Olomoro flow station which according to him has affected the staff and smooth operation of the company.
Comrade Akporero maintained that the management of the oil company will listen to the youth body through dialogue, noting that the information of the protest has circulated and management is aware of the agitation. Also speaking, the chief security officer 222 battalion of the Nigeria army, Agbaro – Otor unit command in a dialogue with the youth president, commended the youth for their peaceful disposition and assured of passing the information to the management of the oil firm.
One of the company staff who spoke on condition of anonymity said, employment of non – indigene from other states of Nigeria is currently ongoing within the company on weekly basis, stressing that the marginalization of Isoko people that owns the oil block is true. In another development, one of the truck loads of soldiers 222 battalion of Nigeria army, Agbarotor – Otor unit command deployed to maintain peace was involved in accident along Iyede / Olomoro express road.
At the time of filing this report, information from the vice president of Isoko National Youth Council, Comrade Paul Agbama says, the driver and one soldier were injured and has been taken to unknown hospital for treatment, adding that the other vehicle passengers are also receiving treatment at a nearby hospital in Isoko South local government area of Delta State.