Isoko youths seek inclusion in presidential amnesty programme
The Isoko National Youths Assembly Worldwide has urged the Federal Government to include them in the presidential amnesty programme in the Niger Delta.
One of its leaders, Ejiro Akpo, made the call yesterday when he spoke with journalists in Asaba.
According to him, the Isoko nation has been relegated in the scheme of things, despite being the fifth largest oil-bearing community in the country.He said the youths might be forced to resort to arms struggle, if the government fails to address their condition.
He said: “The Federal Government needs to urgently open talks with the elders and youths in Isoko, to enable them to enroll in the amnesty programmes. “Any peace process that excludes the Isoko nation cannot be said to be all-inclusive and may after all be futile.”
The youths also condemned the poor maintenance of oil facilities, especially those of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), which caused oil spillage at Ogini flow station recently.
They urged the NPDC to, as a matter of urgency, embark on a comprehensive cleanup of the oil spill, or be forced to shut down its operations in Isoko land.
According to the leader, the OML 30, which covers 1. 095sqkm and 11 oil fields within Isoko communities constitute 60 per cent of the entire exploration.He said contrary to expectations, the Community Development Board (CDB) as constituted by the operator, Heritage Energy was lopsided.
He also urged the Federal Government to prevail on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to complete all abandoned projects in the area.