CHEVRON, an American oil and gas major operating in Nigeria, has been accused of fueling communal conflict in some riverine communities of Delta State, in Southern Nigeria.
A group, the Niger Delta Indigenous Movement for Radical Change (NDIMRC) which made this potentially dangerous accusation in an online statement to AkanimoReports late on Tuesday night, alleged that the oil giant was inciting the people of Gbaramatu, an Ijaw Kingdom in Warri South-West Local Government Area of the state against themselves.
They pointed at the Policy, Government and Public Affairs Department of Chevron as the ''dirty trick'' arm of the oil company in the Gbaramatu ''crisis project'', alleging that a similar scheme by the company had earlier claimed the lives of three community youths.
The group said the company was applying ''divide and rule tactics'' in Gbaramatu, adding, this is unacceptable.
Leaders of the group, Nelly Emma, John Sailor, and Mukoro Stanley, said they are opposed to oil companies dabbling into the internal affairs of communities in the volatile oil and gas region.
According to them, the oil company is insisting on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Egbema and Gbaramatu Communities Development Foundation (EGCDF) in both Warri North and Warri South-West Local Government Areas.
''We are not comfortable with the position of Chevron on an MoU with EGCDF because those the company is using to tear the communities apart are selfish leaders who do not represent the interest of the people.
''It is obvious to us that Chevron is conniving with selfish leaders to oppress the people of the region. Chevron must reckon with the people and not selfish leaders.
''Gbaramatu is a peace-loving kingdom of the Ijaw people and we want it to remain so''.
In the mean time, efforts to get Femi Odumabo, an engineer and the oil company's General Manager in-charge of the Policy, Government & Public Affairs Department, did not pay off, as he was said to be attending to some ''urgent matters''. ENDS