•Stop The Marginalisation Of Our People Now
•Ijaw People Are Known For Peace-Omare
A call has gone to the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, General Muhammadu Buhari, and the Petroleum Minister, Ibe Kachikwu to stop the marginalization of Niger Delta communities in the oil and gas industry by Nigerian oil bloc owners.
Making this call recently was the factional President of the Ijaw Youths Council, IYC, Eric Omare.
Comr. Omare handed down this information while addressing protesting IYC clan executive members of Gbaramatu, Ogbe-Ijoh, Diebiri, Ogulagha, Iduwini, Kou and Egbema Clans in Delta State and parts of Bayelsa and Edo States.
After listening to the protesting youths with rapt attention, Eric Omare condemned in the strongest terms the deprivation of host communities by Nigerian oil bloc owners who are beneficiaries of the local content policy which was a product of the Niger Delta agitation.
The protesting IYC clan executive members led by Mr. Doubra Wuruyai of Gbaramatu and Mr. Smart Okosu of Ogbe-Ijoh Clans while addressing the IYC President had expressed their total dissatisfaction with what they termed ‘’internal colonialism’’ of Niger Deltans in the oil and gas industry.
According to the IYC clan youth leaders, ever since the takeover of most oil and gas assets previously owned by multinational oil companies by indigenous companies, the local operators have introduced practices that amount more or less to the internal slavery of the Niger Delta host communities.
Speaking further, they stated that these new oil asset operators apart from owning and operating the oil blocs have also incorporated several companies with which they do lucrative oil servicing contracts within their bloc areas that ought to be done by local people.
Doubra Wuruyai alleged that employment opportunities that are supposed to be given to the host communities are given to the kindred of the Nigerian assets owners to the detriment of the Ijaw and Niger Delta oil and gas host communities.
They pointed out that this new strategy by the Nigerian oil bloc owners is not only condemnable but also illegal as it amounts to a conflict of interest for oil bloc owners to own subsidiary companies with which they execute key contracts for the operator to the detriment of the communities.
Comr. Doubra specifically accused NECONDE for using Nestoil Nigeria Limited to execute most of the oil service contracts in Diebiri and Gbaramatu Kingdoms to the detriment of the indigenes of the host communities.
The Ijaw youths, therefore, warned that the youths of the affected communities may be forced to take their destiny into their hands by disrupting company operations if these issues are not addressed by the appropriate authorities.
On his part, Eric Omar recalled that the Local Content Act was the first bill that was signed into law by former President Jonathan on assumption of office as part of efforts to address the Niger Delta agitation.
Speaking in the same manner, he explained that the local content in the oil and gas industry was not introduced to turn Nigerians from other parts of the country as local overlords and internal oil colonialists.
The IYC leader called for the introduction of what he termed ‘Community Content in the Oil Industry’ to address the emerging marginalization of local people by Nigerian oil bloc owners.
IYC leader opined that President Buhari, the NNPC, and the Local Content Board should investigate the allegation of oil bloc operators having sister companies to carry out key oil servicing jobs to the detriment of host communities..
Omare stressed that the above is one of the 16 points demands of PANDEF to award oil blocs to Niger Deltans starting from the forthcoming marginal oil fields allocation.
The IYC President-General called on clan executive members to maintain the peace especially those from Gbarmatu Clan who are host to the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko.