By Owai Obo
Scores of youths from Idoma, Betem, Igbofia and Akpet-Egbai in Biase Local Government Area of Cross River State, Wednesday 1st February, 2017 protested against alleged marginalization by management of Wilmar Palm Estate popular known as IBIAE Palm Estate.
The youths were armed with placards bearing various inscriptions like:
“We can’t remain as slaves in our land;
“We want Employment”
“IBIAE Youths Say No to Land Grabbing”
“Mr. Stephen Ebong Must Leave If Wilmar Want to Succeed”
“Local Content Agreement Not signed before operation”
“Wilmar Contracts are handled by their Staff alone”
And lots of other writes up.
According to the Youth President, Mr. Daniel Enang while speaking on behalf of the aggrieved protesters, the company has marginalized the youths in the host communities and this marginalization has brought untold hardship on the youths in the area as they remain unemployed while their land is being seized with little or none left for farming activities which serve as the main source of livelihood in the communities.
“We have youths who are graduates and technicians and are willing to work for Wilmar, but they prefer to hire people outside Cross River State and Biase in particular to work with them.
“Several letters have been written to different authorities and directives given to her(Wilmar Management) for urgent attention on the plight of the youths, yet they all fall on deaf hears.
“All we are saying is that we need employment and contracts for our youths”, Aning Ojah another youth leader from Ibogo community said.
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