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IYC, Ex-militant Leader Decry Protest Against Pipeline Surveillance Contract



The president of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC), Barr. Pereotubo Oweilaemi, has condemned the protest by youths suspected to be former militants in the communities under Oil Mining Lease (OML 30) in Delta State.

The youths had hinged their action on the alleged infringement on a pipeline surveillance contract by Captain Idahosa Okunbo.

In a reaction to the development, Oweilaemi said that the youths were sponsored to blackmail Okunbo who has been very helpful to the cause of the youths in the area.

He said that instead of applauding Okunbo for his philanthropic activities in region, the youths resorted to the “ill-advised protest against a man who has created thousands of jobs for them.”

In a statement he issued in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, which was made available to LEADERSHIP, the IYC president said that the issues surrounding the purported hijack of the said pipeline surveillance contract along the Trans-Forcados Pipeline taking crude oil from the communities to the Forcados Terminal had expired as new bids had been opened.

UYC said that as a major employer of labour, Okunbo had brought peace to the area and also put food on the tables for thousands of youths,

Relatedly, an ex-militant leader in the area, Comrade Godwin Bounanawei, said that as a prominent son of the Niger Delta region, Captain Okunbo had the right to bid for any job in area, including the pipeline surveillance protection job having exhibited capacity and competence in the previous job he had handled.

Bounanawei said that there was never a time the pipeline surveillance contract was exclusively reserved for the youths in the area and described the alleged job highjack as misplaced.

While dismissing the allegation that Okunbo and his purported presidency backers targets to use the surveillance job as a front to siphon millions of dollars for the purpose of executing the 2019 elections in Delta State, Bounanawei said that it is insulting for the youths to declare that Okunbo lacks the capacity to carry out jobs in the region.

He denied that the surveillance contract had been awarded to Ocean Marine by the presidency at an outrageous rate as alleged by the youths “who are out to rubbish anything relating to Okunbo.”



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