Ijaw youths from states of the Niger Delta region have disagreed with the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA) on the plan to embark on a protest march against the passage and signing of the Petroleum Industry Act.
The Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) dismissed claims that youths were planning a protest against the signing of the PIA, saying the protest was not on its agenda but open to a town hall meeting with the minister of state for petroleum resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, over provisions of the Act.
The RNDA, a coalition of nine militant groups in the region in association with members of the Positive Voice for Change (PVC) had on Friday announced the plan to embark on a one-million-man march tagged “Occupy Niger Delta”, alleging that the 3% provision for oil communities was allegedly masterminded by the chief operating officer, Upstream of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Mr Adokiye Tombomieye and not Chief Timipre Sylva.
The RNDA and Positive Voice for Change (PVC) are however calling for the removal of the NNPC chief operating officer over his alleged role in the PIA.
The national spokesman of the IYC, Comrade Ebilade Ekerefe, said the group was not planning any protest.
“But we are aware of civil society organizations planning to carry out civil protests in Abuja against the day light robbery meted on the Niger Delta people, and if that happens, we shall be in solidarity with them. What we said is that President Buhari and the minister of state should not come to the Niger Delta region for now because of the alleged roles they played in the signing of the PIA which has resulted in palpable anger.
“But if they do, we can assure them that they will be greeted with boos and cheers. It will not be the first time such disgraceful treatment will be meted on leaders. The only way out is for the minister of state to come back to his region and organize town hall meetings with stakeholders and explain why the agreed 10% was reduced to a meager 3%. Until that is done, our position still stands,” he said.
The RNDA and Positive Voice for Change (PVC) in a protest letter to President Muhammadu Buhari and Chief Timipre Sylva called for the immediate sack and removal of Mr Adokiye Tombomieye, we are also calling for a total probe into the activities of Tombomieye when he was in charge of crude oil movement at the tower.”