…N8bn was community’s contribution to road Project – Ibeno Chaiman
Exxon Mobil may be in for tougher times as youths in the core oil producing communities of Eket federal Constituency have threatened to stall their operations except they apologize and retract the alleged misleading assertion on the Eket – Ibeno dual carriage way.
The two giant bill boards with the inscription, “EXXON MOBIL on Eket – Ibeno Road NNPC/MPN JV’s Contribution” at both ends of the nearly completed road have been ripped and destroyed by youths suspected to have acted out of provocation.
But reacting to the development the Chairman of Ibeno local government area, Chief Williams Mkpah and the Eket chapter Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Obongiwaad Emman Mbong, in a joint media parley in Uyo advised Mobil to avoid acts that will breech the peace in the community.
Mr Mkpah maintained that the N8biilion advertised by Mobil, was actually the money from the N26.5billion palliative fund that the Community accepted after the November 9, 2012 oil spill in the coastal line of Eket federal constituency.
Chief Mkpah maintained that the effect of the oil spill was so devastating that the community insisted on nothing less than N500billion as compensation from Mobil, leading to the closing down of the operations in the Mobil for over two weeks.
Mkpah explained that a technical committee of the community with him as a member thereafter agreed to accept the peace move orchestrated by Mr Udom Emmanuel, the then Secretary to the State Government, as a prominent son of the area in 2013.
He said the Eket –Ibeno road, the Qua Steel Factory in Eket, the Ibeno beach, trauma center in Ibeno, the Engineering faculty in Akwa Ibom State University, and University of Uyo, were among the other development projects that Exxon Mobil accepted to expend the 26.5 billion naira on.
The Ibeno council boss said it was disappointing that none of these projects have been executed by Mobil, except the donation to CCECC, and expressed the desire of the community to mount pressure on the company to revisit the agreement it had reached with the communities in 2013.
On his part the Obongiwaad Mbong said the oil giants have not fulfilled 40 percent of the agreed obligations in the 2013 peace deal, and was apparently deliberately setting out to embarrass the state governor who has personally managed resources to execute the hitherto abandoned road.
They warned the youths in their communities against taking laws into their hands as legal options will be explored to address the impasse.