IYC urges government to adopt PANDEF peace agenda
Mobil engages host areas, Akwa Ibom to end crisis
The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) yesterday called on the Federal Government to adopt the 16-point peace and development initiative of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF).It said the challenges in the Niger Delta were caused by government’s insensitivity to the plight of the region over the years.
President of the IYC, Roland Oweilaemi Pereotubo, however, praised President Muhammadu Buhari for the achievements recorded by his administration so far.He said this while speaking with journalists in Benin City, Edo State at the second regular meeting of the National Council of the IYC on Niger Delta held in Akure, Ondo State.
He commended President Buhari for creating an avenue for the Niger Delta people to engage the government in constructive dialogue. “We would not have been here charting the way forward had the President not given in to peaceful resolution of the issues in the region,” he said.
Pereotubo thanked the organisers of the meeting for creating a platform for the people to address the issues confronting them.He said dialogue was the key to resolving the Niger Delta crisis, adding, “Government’s response to the demands of the people is the solution to resolving the problem. This, therefore, means that the peace required in the Niger Delta is anchored on the development of the region.”
Meanwhile, Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN), a subsidiary of ExxonMobil has dialogue and working with leaders of its host communities and the Akwa Ibom State government to resolve the crisis as routes to its facilities remained blocked.
The blockade, which started with the dumping of red coffins at some of its facilities in Eket, intensified during the week and the situation had remained the same as at yesterday as most workers, especially those working at Qua Iboe Terminal (QIT) in Ibeno and the Eket Air Strip were forced to stay at home.
However, a few workers were flown by chopper through their roof top landing pad at the housing estate but the protesting host communities have asked them to stop lifting the workers or the choppers will be brought down.
Mobil’s Media and Communications Manager, Ogechukwu Odeagha said, “Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN), operator of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)/MPN Joint Venture, confirms demonstrations around the Joint Venture’s facilities in Akwa Ibom State by persons believed to be community youths.
He was responding to inquiries on the blockades of the routes to its facilities and complaints from the host communities on non-implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the host communities.
Odeagha, who did not give details of various issues raised by the host communities, added, “We are working with relevant community leaders, government officials and security agencies on addressing the issues and managing the situation. MPN remains committed to peaceful operations in the state.”