Ex-Niger Delta militants have urged the leadership of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) and Ijaw Elders to stop attributing blames and focus on ways to support the proper implementation of development funds allocated to host communities in the recently signed Petroleum Industry Act(PIA).
The ex-agitators, under the aegis of the Niger Delta Advocate for Peace and Good Governance(NDAPGG), said instead of engaging in blame game, the proper management and implementation of the fund accrued to host communities through the 3 per cent provision will ameliorate the suffering of the people in the region.
The ex-militant leaders, in a statement issued via electronic mail and signed by the National Coordinator of the group, ‘General’ Fiawei Pathfinder and National Secretary, Comrade A. K. Peters with other ex-agitators urged the people of the Niger Delta region to calm down and focus on strategic development plan for the host communities, “it is not time for us to lay accusing fingers and apportioning blames against Mr A or Mr B.
“Rather, we all should join hands and come together as stakeholders from across the various ethnic nationalities that make up the oil producing communities in the region to see how we can properly manage the 3 per cent for the host communities.”
The group noted that despite the misinformation in the region, the 20 per cent set aside by the provision of the PIA is not to be shared to the Northern region but a reserved fund for the raining days if eventually production of crude oil slips down at the international market.
According to the group, “the reserve fund will be used for the development of the oil producing communities and there is another percentage that Mr President set aside for capital projects for the oil producing communities in the creek. The PIA will unbundle most of the different agencies in the oil industry that are not beneficial to the oil producing communities who are the original owners of the oil.
“These agencies were created to take away benefits from the creek to far away Northern part of the country and outside the country which was inimical to the people of the region. These and many more will be revoked by the Petroleum Industry Act. In all, the PIA that was just signed into law by President Buhari is over 90percent beneficial to the oil and gas producing communities in the Niger Delta region than any other zone in the country.
“The PIA also guarantees transparency and accountability with much profitability to the people of the region when the multinational oil companies will be doing their exploitation and exploration activities in the region.”
On the threat of persona non granta issued against the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, the group noted that the threat is misplaced as the duo of Chief Timipre Sylva and the Executive Secretary Nigerian Content, Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Wabote are not National Assembly members that will have influence over the passage of the PIB.
According to the ex-agitators, “if we want to ask questions, Sylva and many others accused are not Federal Lawmakers and there is no way they would have influence over the National Assembly against what will be beneficial to their people and unborn children. There is no way the Federal Lawmakers will now accept such inhuman provision from them if at all and the same time if at all the gods of the land will not forgive them and posterity will continue to judge them.
“And so we want to state here categorically that the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, does not have any hand in the approval of the 3percent for the oil producing communities in the PIA. All Sylva and Wabote did was to approach the Presidency and engage the leadership of the National Assembly to make sure this all important bill will be approved and to make sure Mr President use his good offfice to sign the bill into law as fast as possible for the good and betterment of the oil producing communities.
“Mr President, having lived and schooled in Burutu Community in the creek of Delta State knows fully well that the people of the region deserve a better living condition with social amenities.”
The group also cautioned those sponsoring dissenting voice against the PIA to thread with care and as a matter of urgency withdraw from such discouraging action and back down from their anger.
“Let the people of the region reason positively and grab the what has been approved for us with the whole of our heart and think of the best way forward because the era of drum beats of war is over and we are in the era of dialogue, peace and pragmatic development.
“So that more good things and more developmental projects could find there way to the once troubled zone for the interest of the emancipated and long neglected people in the region.”
The ex-agitators also commended President Muhammad Buhari for choosing Chief Timipre Sylva as the Minister Of State for Petroleum Resources and for re-appointing Engr. Simbi Wabote as the Executive Secretary of the NCDMB.
“The duo have performed excellently beyond expectation and the group thank them for working tirelessly to reposition the nation oil and gas industry to an enviable height of international recognition for a global competitiveness with other major players in the oil and gas industry across the globe.”