…”we will occupy all oil platforms,installations, PH refineries if Niger Delta people are excluded”–PANDLEAF
By: Osa Okhomina,Yenagoa
Hundreds of angry youths from the Nine States of the Niger Delta region have weekend threatened to destroy the peace deal entered into with the Federal Government and cripple rising oil production in the region over alleged double speak by the Federal Government on the issue of concessions of Oil refinery, warning that the attempt to exclude indigenes of the region will lead to chaos and renewed hositilities in the region.
The Youths, under the aegis of the Pan Niger Delta Youth Leadership Forum (PANDLEAF) argued that though they have shown seriousness and capability with provision of $1.2billion dolars required as third party financier demanded by the Federal Government for the re-building of the refineries, the double speak by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu and the hidden attempt to exclude Indigenes of the region and bring in oil multinationals will provoke a total shut down of oil production from the region.
The Youths,under the PANDLEAF, in a position paper read by its President, Hon. Famous Daunemigha, the Rivers Coordinator, Hon. Richard Akinaka,Secetary,Micheal Ekpo and Organising Secetary, Dr. Selekaye Ben during a media briefing on saturday in Warri,Delta State, warned that the people of the region are prepared and capable of managing and running refineries optimally and as such no external back-up,investor or finacier is required or necessary.”
The group’s position, read by Hon. Daunemigha, , that “it is unfortunate that the leaders of our nation speaks from the both sides of the mouth. Only yesterday,we submitted a memoradum to the S AD HOC Committee on the concessioning of Refineries. The other day, the Minister for State, Dr. Ibe Kachukwu came out to say they are not planning to concession the refineries but that they are looking for theird party financier to finance the rebuilding of refineries to the tune of 1.2 billion US dollars.”
“We however wish to say as a people, our rights to economic,social and cultural development as enshrined in the United Nation’ and African Union charters in Article 22 of the African Charter on Human and Peoplesk right provided that ‘ the people shall have the right to their right, their economic,social and cultural development with due regards to their freedom and identity and in equal enjoyment of the common heritage of mankind.”
Daunemigha noted that though the series of events after the peace deal reached with the people of the region after the tour of the Niger Delta states by the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbanjo have shown the insincerity on the part of the Federal Government, “this double speak and attempted economic exclusion will determine the destiny of the region.”
“We wish to state that we shall resist any attempt at bringing any company(OandO or Agip inclusive) in the name of concessioning or as third Party financier in the business of rebuilding the Port Harcourt Refinery without the inclusion of companies owned by persons from the Niger Delta region.”
“That we have gotten together a consortium of indigenous investors,financiers and corporations with the necessary resources,capital,technical knowihow,manpower and have created a special purpose vehicle (SPV) the purpose of putting together the 1.2 billion US dollars as stated by Dr.I Kachikwu and we are willing to present all relevent details if requested. We dare say, that at this moment, we are of the firm view that in the pursuit of peace abd sustainable development of the Niger Delta, these refineries should be given to our people to finance and run.”
Also speaking, the Organising Secetary of the group, Dr. Selekaye Ben, said the people of the Niger Delta are ready to resist any attempt by the FG to enslave the people within the mabit of law. We shall mobilise the people of oil bearing communities, pipeline hosting communities to occupy the refinery and other oil platforms untill justice is done. It is an injustice,before man and God,for the FG to severally alienate our people”
“Recently, there have been several agitations in the Nigerian State. Some people from the North says they want to go to heaven. Some from the South East say they want a new country.But we from the Niger Delta have declared that we want to remain in the Nigerian State but our problem is exclusion.”
It would be recalled that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu had last week while speaking at a press conference at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation towers in the nation’s capital stated that government will not sell or concession Nigeria’s oil refineries to private firms contrary to public speculation.
The minister also said the Federal government would partner with third-party financiers to engage the original builders of the nation’s three refineries to fully restore the moribund facilities with original parts