Warring factions of the host communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas (HOSTCOM and HOSCON) have agreed to sheath their sword and present a harmonized position of the entire host communities at the new public hearing of the Petroleum Industrial Bill (PIB).
According to the press release signed by the media adviser to the SSA-President Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Edet Ekpenyong, the conciliatory meeting was at instance of the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang, who convened the meeting on Tuesday, in Abuja.
The meeting agreed that a joint technical Committee of all contending parties facilitated by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs would be constituted to prepare a common presentation at the next hearing of PIB.
Speaking, the SSAP admonished both parties to set aside their differences and have common position for the purpose of the (PIB), adding that “we would request using the instrumentality of this Office for the House of Representatives and the Senate Committee even in their committee session to hear us present a harmonized position at the National Assembly, Senate and the House of Representatives.
Speaking further, the presidential aide noted that “we have not invited you to settle any dispute but we have invited you to shake hands with each other and move on because in the Niger Delta dispute and disputation is a regular feature so we are not settling dispute”.
He added that “I know you people do not have dispute with yourself, you only agree and disagree on a procedure and the disagreement pass elbow to the ankle.”
Senator Enang decried a situation in which the Oil Companies divides the host communities while they sponsor and put fire on both side, “they take the oil, desecrate the environment, abuse your children and your youths, give them instrument of self-destruction while we keep fighting and working, they keep clapping and taking our resources”.
He stressed that “under President Muhammed Buhari, this would not happen again, we would not be perpetually at war with ourselves, we have agreed to come together for the purpose of defending the interest of the entire community.”
“So what I intend to do, is to work with you, put you on the same page on issues contend on the Host Communities Content of the Petroleum Industry Bill, to enable you put up a unified presentation on what you want for the Host Communities for the bill to become law” he added.
The conciliatory meeting with some critical stakeholders was convened to avert the recurrence of issues that ensured at the public hearing of the Petroleum Industrial Bill (PIB) in the National Assembly on 28th January, 2021 and its serious implication on the region’s development and adverse effect on the nation’s economy.