IYC cautions against Etete, others’ prosecution over Malabu oil deal
The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide, has threatened to shut down all oil wells in the Niger Delta if the Federal Government continues with the prosecution of Niger Delta indigenes in the Malabu oil deal.
The group embarked on a peaceful protest yesterday over the alleged persecution of former Minister of Petroleum, Dan Etete, in connection with the Malabu oil deal, saying enough was enough of prosecution of Ijaw people.
Chairman of IYC, Central Zone, Tare Porri, urged the Federal Government to stop further intimidation, oppression and probe of Etete and other Ijaw people, saying the former minister got his oil block licence, OPL 245 through due process.
The protesting Ijaw youths carried placards with inscriptions as: Stop Oppressing Ijaw Sons; Ijaw Will Not Bow To Intimidation; Arrest Etete And Prepare For Shutdown Of Niger Delta; Ijaw Youths Say No To Oppression; We Feed Nigeria; Malabo Oil Block, Our Right and Ijaw Deserve Oil Blocks, among others.Addressing the protesters, Porri said the Ijaw ethnic nationality would not allow any person or group of persons hiding under the Presidency to humiliate Ijaw people again.
He reminded the Federal Government that if it fails to stop the probe of Etete and decides to play politics with their modest demands, the government should stop taking oil from the region.
“Our position is that we will not be intimidated neither can we be blackmailed. We want to reaffirm our position that if the Nigerian state failed to stop persecuting our people, to stop persecuting Dan Etete and other Niger Delta and Ijaw people in the oil and gas industry or they should be prepared to stop taking oil from our area,” he said.
“We are very determined that there is no army battalion that can stop this decision the Ijaw people have taken. “The Ijaw nation has forewarned the Nigerian state that oil blocs and oil wells are the ancestral property of the Ijaw people and if we cannot own oil blocks and oil wells, no other human being in Nigeria should own oil wells,” he added.Porri wondered why the oil block awarded to Malabo Oil and Gas, owned by Etete, is the only one the government was interested in investigating, insisting that in 1998, other oil blocks were awarded, apart from OPL 245.
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