Ibeno youths protest marginalization by ExxonMobil, non completion of Eket-Ibeno road

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By Samuel Ogenyi, Uyo

Aggrieved youths from Ibeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom has protested against the non completion  of the Eket/Ibeno dualization project.

They have also blocked the road leading to the Qua Ibeo facility of ExxonMobil over alleged marginalisation.

The protesters carried placards with various inscriptions such as ExxonMobil engage our youths in the deep water project”, “We need light in our community”,  “Resuscitate our cottage hospital”. 

 “We need good water in our community”,  “ExxonMobil clean your environment”, “Our fishermen is suffering because of sea-piracy, “why should we suffer in the midst of plenty”.

 Chairman of Ibeno youths, Mr Christopher Itia, said that the youths were aggrieved because they have consistently been  marginalized by the state government and ExxonMobil. 

“We are their host community but they are not treating us as if we are part of them, the multinational oil company had terminated over 500 contracts staff in Ibeno alone. 

“ExxonMobil is here, we don’t have portable water, no electricity and we are the host community. Ibeno supposed to be a heaven on earth.” He explained.

The spokesman called on Governor Udom Emmanuel to complete the Eket/Ibeno road which was inaugurated without completion.

He expressed regret that activities of sea pirates had stopped fishermen from going to sea, saying that sea pirates stole four outboard engine from fishermen and waterways in the last one week.

He lamented that the only cottage hospital in Ibeno has been in a dilapidated condition with grossly inadequate medical personnel.

Reacting, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Ini Ememobong said that government has  noted their grievances  adding that the state government has not abandoned the Eket Ibeno road.  

He noted that the state government has mapped out a new strategy to create  jobs for youths of Akwa Ibom, in addition to creating more opportunities for engagement with the state government. 

Interministerial jobs Ememobong said would soon be given to youths of the state.

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