The rising anger over the passage and signing of the Petroleum Industrial Bill (PIB) into law deepened yesterday with the Ijaw Youths from the six states of the Niger Delta region declaring that President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva are no longer welcome to the region over their roles.
The Ijaw Youths, said despite the fact that the duo of President Buhari and Chief Sylva have the constitutional rights to move to any parts of the country, their movement into the six states of the Niger Delta will be welcome with boos and disgraceful jeers due to their show of disregard to the plights and cry of the people of the region over the years.
The Ijaw Youths, under the aegis of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) worldwide, had earlier on Tuesday rejected the signing of the controversial Petroleum Industrial Bill (PIB) by president Muhammadu Buhari, said the signing of the PIB into law is 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.
The National Spokesman of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC), Comrade Ebilade Ekerefe, in a statement issued in Yenagoa, said the decision not to welcome President Muhammadu Buhari and Chief Timipre Sylva to the region was a further show of disdain to their drop in the ratings of the Niger Delta people and should not expect any accolades and congratulatory messages from the region.
Ekerefe insisted 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”.
On the explanation offered by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva on the 3%, Ekerefe described the explanation as an afterthought. He said 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.
Ekerefe, noted that 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 that 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.”
….Ijaw Youths decision reckless, parochial–RNDA
Coalition of Nine Militant groups under the aegis of Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA) however described the position of the Ijaw Youths under the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) as reckless and parochial.
The RNDA, said instead of reckless threats and unfounded statements, President Muhammadu Buhari and THE Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva should be commended for the passage of the PIB Bill into law.
The RNDA, which is a coalition of nine Militant groups who embraced the peace accord from the Federal Government, described the decision of the present administration to ensure the passage of the PIB and the signing into law as courageous, passionate and a show of love for the people of the Niger Delta region who have suffered over six decades within six yeas in office to change the narrative of their the harrowing anguish and pain.
According to the RNDA, ”Indeed, we the people are immensely grateful to the President to boldly and committedly actualize this long and protracted bill running over 16 years, and today it is passsed and signed into law, and this is a new dawn in our history as a people in the Niger Delta region.Our hope is rekindled by this iconic benevolence demonstrated by President Muhammadu Buhari to take away the reproach of neglect borne out of sheer wickedness by our own leaders who were Governors, National Assembly Members, Ministers of Petroleum, Ministers of Niger Delta Affairs, Vice President, Acting President, and even President”
“President Muhammadu Buhari is our hero and father. We will and our generations unborn will remain grateful to him for this historic and memorable signing of the Petroleum Industry Bill into Law. We really appreciate his sincere love for our region as seen in his influence on the National Assembly to ensure the holistic and robust debate and also inclusion of all stakeholders in the process of passing the PIB into law for try benefit of the People of the Niger Delta region who suffer consequences of inhuman pattern of exploration and exploitation of crude oil and natural gas that have thrown the region into a dead trap because of pollution carried out by these multinational oil companies”.
“It is also gratifying to state at this juncture that President Buhari being a man with a human heart went on to rewrite the wrongs done to our region and to reposition it for a new beginning of development. This is what our own son and brother former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, a son of the region, a Niger Delta from Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, who also is from an oil producing community, where in his local government oil was first discovered in 1956 in Oloibri community”.
“Jonathan whom we had hope on as Commander-in-Chief for six years who led the People’s Democratic Party, and also Diezani Allison Madukwe was Minister of Petroleum and daughter from the region could not pass the PIB into law despite PDP was in majority of the National Assembly to alleviate suffering of the people.We are indeed elated with the kind gesture of Mr. President, because he understand the plight of the people in the region haven lived in Burutu in Delta State and as Minister of Petroleum under Former Head of State, Gen Olusegun Obasanjo, constructed Warri Refinery and Petrochemical Company, and also being the Chairman of Petroleum Trust Fund, PTF then impacted massively on the region”.
“With this patriotism, he never hesitated to carve a niche for himself and to the benefit of the Niger Delta people with the assistance of our own brother and son, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva together with the leadership of the National Assembly, especially, the Deputy President of the Senate, Distinguished Senator Ovia Omo Agege and Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari, to bring the PIB into fruition”.
“It is imperative to state here at this juncture that the debate on three per cent given to oil producing communities is unnecessary because this runs into over $500 million, and this is a trust fund which oil producing communities will manage by themselves in collaboration with oil producing companies and the government. This is a beginning, and instead of fighting over this we should commend the President for his magnanimity, and other prominent leaders who have played a very critical role to ensure passage and signing off the bill into law, these include the Minister of State Petroleum and also the Deputy President of the Senate”.
“It is imperative to state here that it is unbecoming of Chief EK Clake and his PANDEF over unnecessary and unguarded utterances he has been voicing out on the pages of newspapers and television stations over the PIB and pressure mounted on President Buhari, why is it that Clarke and his group never came up with PANDEF to mount pressure on Jonathan to pass PIB into law, and where was Seriake Dickson who was in House of Reps and was later Governor of Bayelsa State for eight years and only Ijaw speaking Governor to rally round to ensure the PIB was passed into law by Jonathan but only now is using disparaging comments on Chief Timipre Sylva?”
“The RNDA with the coalition of the nine militant groups in the creek that is agitating for the overall development of the Niger Delta Region condemn in totality PANDEF’s position for attacking and criticizing Mr President for assenting to the PIB over the 3% per cent for the Oil producing communities.
We want to use this medium to warn those troubleshooters in the region that is trying to use this PIB 3% per cent issue to cause problem in the creek should quickly retrace their steps now and withdraw from whatever useless and meaningless threat statements been declared before now”.
“The likes of the 21st Century Agitators Conscience Group led by one miscreant called Mr W O I Ezonebi, including MOSEIND and other groups in the region to retrace their steps by attacking and opposing the 3% percent approval and Mr. President accent to the bill rather they should toe the part of honesty and patriotism as true Nigerians to applaud President Muhammadu Buhari for making it possible for this great kind gesture for having the neglected emancipated people of the oil producing communities.”
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