By Osa Okhomina,Yenagoa
Angry kinsmen of High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, the foremost former militant leader in the Niger Delta, yesterday sent a protest letter to the Acting President, Professor YemiOsinbanjo over alleged attempts by the oil multinationals to provoke anger and threaten the peace of the Ijaw communities in Delta State over the refusal to absorb its trained graduates.
The angry kinsmen, under the aegis of the KOMBOT-Egbema andGbaramatu Graduates Association said though the protest letter to the Acting President, YemiOsinbajo was a notice to the federal government of their commitment to peace in the region, the graduates who are part of Ijaw host communities of Chevron Nigeria Limited, have resolved to embark on a mass action in the next 48 hours if their members in the VTP5/OTP2 Operator/Maintenance Trainees of Chevron are not confirmed as staff.
The angry graduates led by the president, Yabrade Moses and the secretary, Asoki Victor Warebi, in a statement stated that “ On behalf of KOMBOT-Egbema andGbaramatu Graduates Association wish to emphatically state that Chevron Nigeria Limited should within 48 hours confirm the VTP5/OTP2, VTP6 Operator/Maintenance Trainees of Chevron Nigeria Limited as permanent staff or face a mass action that might cripple their operations in Egbema and Gbaramatu Kingdom which are host to CNL.”
The statement reads in part, “The trainees are since overdue for conversion to permanent staff basis after 18 months, rather they are still being retained as trainees on the job as a means of cheap labour, for the past four years, which is totally unacceptable to us.
“The trainees should be regularized as soon as possible to avoid the inevitable danger awaiting Chevron Nigeria Limited due the company’s management nonchalant attitudes towards the reclassification of the trainees as staff, the non-intake of the 2014 awaiting batch and other crucial employment issues.
“It is on record that series of letters have been written and meetings held with CNL, government representatives and security agents as regards the conversion of VTP5/OTP2 Trainees and other employment issues but CNL kept mute and has instead converted those trainees termed “NATIONAL” from Agbami field to permanent staff long ago leaving our indigenes on “COMMUNITY” angle as slave labourers.
“On this note, we are embarking on a mass action against CNL in solidarity with our brothers that are being used as cheap labour any moment from now. Except their conversion to permanent staff is confirmed and our employment deficiency addressed within 48 hours as to avert the impending action.”