Sacked workers attack oil workers in A’Ibom. More than 1,000 sacked junior workers of ExxonMobil’s Nigerian unit, Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN) yesterday ignored Governor Godswill Akpabio, who had earlier warned the youths to desist from blocking the firm as they lynched officials of the oil firm yesterday in Eket.
The governor had earlier threatened to deal with the youths when he cancelled a proposed meeting between the management of ExxonMobil and ex-militants from Akwa Ibom.
Akpabio, who waded into the crisis pledged to compel Mobil to be alive to its obligations to the host communities.
Akpabio, who was in Ibeno, the host community to Mobil on Monday, to commission office blocks in the oil firm, said the operation of ExxonMobil was responsible for the high revenue profile of the state.
Three oil workers, including Akaninyene Esiere, Public Affairs manager at Qua Iboe Terminal, were attacked by disengaged workers along Eket Ibeno road yesterday but were rescued by police DPO in charge of the area, who led the security team deployed to quell the protest.
One of the rescued oil workers who sustained injuries was whisked away to an undisclosed hospital for medical care.
The aggrieved workers protesting the sack of over 1, 000 junior workers in a recent downsizing exercise at the Qua Iboe Terminal seized and blocked the access road to the oil facility in Ibeno Akwa Ibom State.
The disengaged workers turned back several bus loads of oil workers and their security escorts who were on their way to resume work at the Qua Iboe oil fields.
Several appeals by a combined team of police, army and naval personnel drafted to secure oil installations and to open the road to human and vehicular traffic were rebuffed.
The entrance to the Qua Iboe terminal remained locked while the workers who carried placards blocked the access road to the facility as at 2.00 pm yesterday.
Coordinator of the disengaged workers, Mr. Joseph Nyong Okon, said the workers were pushed to the walls and had no option than to seek self help.
“We are sick and tired of this modern day slavery, we are grossly underpaid, as low as N12,000 some N15,000 and N18,000; there is no reason to pay workers less than the minimum wage.
“So I can say that Mobil is breaching the laws and therefore cannot be protected by the laws, it is not our intention to be violent, but what else can we do.”Sacked workers attack oil workers in A’Ibom