‘FG’s negligence’: We’re shutting down waterways in Niger Delta, Gbaramatu youths roar

Chief Godspower Gbenekama

By Ebi Perekeme

In what the oil-producing host communities in the Niger Delta region described to as ignorant by the Presidency along with Delta State government, the leadership of Gbaramatu Youth Council, GYC, has moved to shut down waterways in the region.

The GYC also said that they are tired of the continuous fruitless meetings with the federal government, stressing that the delay reflects they are paying a deaf ear to their agitations.

GbaramatuVoice gathered that the leadership of GYC, on Saturday had an emergency meeting with the Spokesman of Gbaramatu kingdom, Chief Godspower Gbenekama, at his residence in Warri.

Chief Godspower Gbenekama, Fiyewei of Gbaramatu kingdom in a group photograph with members of Gbaramatu Youth Council, GYC, earlier today, shortly after the emergency meeting. 

The meeting came against the backdrop of the continuous delay by the Federal Government in responding to their demands, along with the expiration of ultimatums issued by Oil Producing Host communities in the Niger Delta region, which includes the Ijaw, Itsekiri, Urhobo.

The communities had earlier issued ultimatums, threatening to shut down oil and gas operations in the region over alleged exclusion in the Federal Government recently announced bid for marginal oil fields in their areas, along with other developments.

Subsequently, the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday, July 29 at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, met with Chief Timipre Sylva, the Minister of State for Petroleum and Barr. Kinsley Otuaro, Delta State Deputy Governor to address the development.

But, while briefing newsmen after the meeting, President of Gbaramatu Youth Council, GYC, Comrade Shedrack Ebikeme, stated that they came to find out the progress so far from the leadership of Gbaramatu kingdom, and to their dismay, no talk is going between them and the presidency.

He said: “We are here to meet the Fiyewei (Spokesman) of Gbaramatu kingdom, Chief Godspower Gbenekama, on the ultimatum given to the federal government by our people, there was a meeting between the deputy governor of Delta state, Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and the Vice President of Nigeria, on Wednesday, July 29 in Abuja, two weeks have passed, we have not gotten any response from the federal government and the Delta State Government.

“We are running out of patients, we are saying it from our own end that enough is enough, if urgent moves are not made to meet our demands, we are not going to give the federal government an ultimatum again and they should expect the worst from the youths of Gbaramatu kingdom.

“In the closed door with the Fiyewei, we told him that we the youths have resolved that we are going to shut down the waterways, there will be no movement of ships, boats and no oil companies operations will be allowed in the Gbaramatu waterways.

“The vice president has come to deceive us again and this is the last warning. They should expect the worst from the youths. We are tired of fruitless meetings upon meetings with the federal government. We are going to march words with actions,” Ebikeme added