Niger Delta groups decry exclusion of youths from NCND meeting
Akwa Ibom communities suspend protest against ExxonMobil
Some youths in Niger Delta have condemned their exclusion from a meeting of the National Council on Niger Delta (NCND) in Akure.
The youths, under the auspices of Niger Delta Youth Governance Monitoring Group (NDYGMG), stated this in a statement by its Director of Press Affairs, Emmanuel U. Justin.
Justin said that the council meeting held from September 7 to 14, 2017 failed to find solutions to the Niger Delta questions. They alleged that their exclusion was to prevent them from forming the necessary quorum that was needed to take critical decisions.
The statement said: “No minister from the region, member of the National Assembly, representative of the international oil companies, or governor from the region was present at the Akure meeting.
“This was a far-cry from the inaugural edition at Uyo in 2013, which had all the relevant stakeholders who did not attend the second edition.” Meanwhile, oil communities in Akwa Ibom State have suspended their 14-day ultimatum to ExxonMobil to relocate its headquarters to the area.
The spokesman for the communities, Mr. Joe Etukudo, disclosed this yesterday. He said the suspension followed Governor Udom Emmanuel’s appeal to the people of Eket Federal Constituency to allow peace to reign.
Etukudo disclosed that the group, called Afigh Iwaad Ekid, has removed all the traditional injunctions placed at the company’s gates, as well as the barriers on the roads leading to its terminal, administrative office and airstrip.
The communities had earlier asked the company to implement the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that it entered with the communities.
Among their demands are the integration of the communities’ contractors and vendors in the ongoing Qua Iboe Terminal (QIT) and Power Distribution Upgrade (QPDUP) project.
They are also seeking employment for the indigenes in managerial and directorship positions and enrolment into Mobil Technical Training School.
Also on the communities’ demands are compensation for environmental pollution and degradation caused by oil-spills, gas-flaring and operational noise hazards.