Youths condemn oil pipeline vandalism in Niger Delta

Eme Offiong, Calabar

Youth groups in Nigeria’s delta region have condemned the incessant vandalisation of oil pipelines in the region.

The Niger Delta Youth Council, NDYC, at a parley with journalists in Uyo, the capital city of Akwa Ibom State, Southern Nigeria, condemned the act believed to be perpetuated by militants in the region.

National Coordinator of the group, Jator Abido, who also pledged support to President Muhammadu Buhari in the fight against corruption, advised militant groups to explore consultation, negotiations and dialogue during misunderstanding with authorities and companies rather than resort to violence.

Community Watch

According to him, “the leadership of NDYC will embark on community watch in making sure that the youths alongside local community vigilante do not indulge in pipeline Vandalism. We want to ensure that all on- going projects of the Nigerian and State are not disrupted by hoodlums”.

The National Coordinator vowed “to support President Buhari in the fight against corruption from grass root, but urge him to bring to book the perpetrators of the National Budget infiltration alongside other corrupt public office holders irrespective of party affiliation”.

“While we are pleading with the Nigerian Government to assist in the clean-up of oil spillage in Ogoni and other affected Community in our Region, we urge the President to reconsider reopening the National Maritime University in Gbaramatu to help engage the youths positively”, Abido appealed.

Bayelsa State

Similarly, the Ijaw Youths Council, IYC, in Bayelsa State has condemned the nefarious activities of a new militant group in the Niger Delta region known as the Niger Delta Avengers.

The IYC spokesman, Mr. Eric Omare, who addressed pressmen in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, said that the group did not see the justification in the Niger Delta Avengers embarking on destruction of oil facilities and wreaking havoc on the region’s environment.

Omare appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to go after the real culprits and rather than the communities and people in his government’s efforts to unmask the perpetrators.

According to Omare, “we do not see the justification in the Niger Delta Avengers embarking on destruction of oil facilities because Chief Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, denounced the group. I think Tompolo did the proper thing informing the world that he was not part of the NDA”.

“The IYC believes that irrespective of their grievances, there are better ways of expressing them rather than contributing to the further destruction of the already massively degraded Niger Delta environment”, Omare said.
“As with other cases of attack on oil facilities, the Niger Delta environment and people are the ultimate victims and would suffer from these latest attacks”, stated Omare.

The Niger Delta Avengers had claimed responsibility for the recent bombings of a Shell Petroleum Development Company platform in Rivers State; Chevron’s Okan platform at Abiteye in Escravos, Delta State and the pipelines transporting crude oil to the Warri and the Kaduna refineries.

The Nigerian Government said it was working to uncover those behind the bombings of oil installations in the Niger Delta region.

Governors’ Forum

Meanwhile, a meeting of the South-South Governors of the Peoples Democratic Party held at Asaba, Delta State, has also condemned the recent attack pipelines in the region.

Briefing Journalists at the end of the meeting, the host Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa said the South-South PDP Governors’ Forum met to explore areas of economic cooperation and build partnership in strengthening democratic ideals of the party.

Okowa stated that the South-South PDP Governors condemned in strong terms, the bombing of Chevron Oil facilities at Abiteye, Delta State by persons suspected to be militants.

He described the attack as unfortunate, adding that plans were on to stem the tide of pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta region.