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Okowa warns protesters against threat to peace in Niger Delta


[FILE PHOTO] Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state

Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has warned those using the oil surveillance contract to cause trouble to stop their action.

Okowa gave the caution yesterday, while addressing aggrieved youths at the Government House, Asaba.

The protesters were from host communities to OML 30 and some ex-agitators in phases one to three of the Federal Government Amnesty programme.

He told them that a breakdown of peace in the state could cause economic challenges to the country.

The governor promised to secure the jobs of ex-agitators, pipeline surveillance contractors and workers involved.

“I want to advise that whosoever is plotting against the people, those who are benefiting and are through the process of surveillance contracts being empowered, should allow Delta State to remain peaceful.

“It is only in peace that we will be able to produce and export more crude oil, from which the nation and the state gains,” he said.

The governor, who emerged from the state Security Council meeting to address the protesters, urged them to remain peaceful, as his administration would take necessary actions to address their grievances.

He added: “It is our hope that nobody, especially as the oil prices are going down, should take any action that will foil the quantity of oil that we are currently producing.

“I want to thank you and appreciate you for the way you have put yourselves together. Secondly, I want to appreciate you for deciding to make the protest peaceful; that is the hallmark of Delta youths.

He explained that the protest was happening on a day that the state was holding its Security Council meeting, which involved various security agencies.

He added that the security agents have secured the Trans Forcados line, adding that the safety of the pipeline had made the nation’s oil production to increase.

He disclosed: “We have held series of meetings with stakeholders and we have agreed to the fact that it is best to secure our pipelines when we are in charge by ourselves.

“You cannot come and watch over someone else’s backyard; the people who own the place know best how to protect their property.”

Okowa stressed that since June 2017 that the Trans Forcados line has been opened, it has been functional and oil production and export has continued to increase.

Tennyson Oriunu, who spoke on behalf of the aggrieved protesters, urged Okowa to intervene to avoid crisis, because the contract was awarded to people who are not familiar with the terrain.

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