PIA: Anger persists in N/Delta as IYC sends message to Buhari, Slyva

PIA: Anger persists in N/Delta as IYC sends message to Buhari, Slyva

Friday, August 20, 2021 12:05 pm

President Muhammadu Buhari signing Petroleum Industry Bill 2021 into law on Monday: PDP wants immediate amendment to the law

President Muhammadu Buhari signing Petroleum Industry Bill 2021 into law on Monday

By Jethro Ibileke
Just like some stakeholders in the region, youths in the oil producing Niger Delta under the aegis of Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, are still seething in anger over the signing of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
IYC had on Tuesday rejected the signing of the controversial PIB signed into law by President Buhari last Monday.
The youths had described the signing of the PIB into law as a total affront to the outcry of the people of the Niger Delta region against the three per cent provision for the oil producing communities.
In further demonstration of their anger, IYC on Friday declared President Buhari and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, persona non grata in the region in the six states of the region.
The move is allegedly over their roles in the signing of the Petroleum Industrial Bill (PIB) into law, and their show of disregard to the plights and cry of the people of the region over the years, a development they said has heightened the rising tension and anger in the region.
The Ijaw youths said although President Buhari and Mr. Sylva have the constitutional rights to move to any part of the country, but that their movement into the six states of the Niger Delta will be welcome with boos and disgraceful jeers in a statement issued in Yenagoa by its national spokesman, Comrade Ebilade Ekerefe.
IYC said the decision not to welcome Buhari and Sylva to the region is a further show of disdain and their drop in the ratings of the Niger Delta people and so, should not expect any accolades and congratulatory messages from the region.
Ekerefe noted that the best course of action to have been taken by the President was to send the Bill back to the National Assembly for upward review of the 3 per cent equity share to host communities whose environments had suffered decades of oil exploration activities by the oil companies.
“Therefore, a substantial percentage to the HOSTCOM would’ve helped to address this age-long criminality. Until that is done, there’s nothing to celebrate,” he said.
IYC further described the explanation offered by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva on the 3%, as an afterthought.
“What the Minister should’ve done as an illustrious son of the soil was to apologize and appeal to the consciences of our people, rather than justifying an act which is politically tailored to favor the north and its allies in the industry.
“It is a rape to justice and equity for the National Assembly to pass 3% equity share to the host communities while passing 30% to frontier basins which in our view is grossly inadequate and it is against the unanimous 10% agreement by stakeholders for Hostcom when the National Assembly visited the region.
“With the amount of speed the president used in signing the PIB without recourse to the stem stand by stakeholders from the region, the president has further demonstrated that the opinions of the Niger delta people don’t matter in his government as we’ve witnessed in other areas that requires urgent attention of his government.
“In the light of the forgoing, there’s no better time for the people of the Niger Delta region to intensify the struggle for resource control and self-determination.
“We believe strongly that it will be the only sure path upon which our God giving natural resources can be managed by us, and not this impunity we’ve witnessed from a repressive federal government under President Muhammadu Buhari,” the statement concluded.

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