Ijaw youths insist on 70 per cent ownership of modular refineries
Demand restructuring to address resource control
The Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) has threatened to frustrate the operations of licensed modular refineries if the Federal Government fails to give the Niger Delta 70 per cent ownership.
The factional President of the IYC (Worldwide), Oweilaemi Pereotubo gave the warning at a press conference yesterday in Warri.
He said the Ijaw nation’s support for the country’s restructuring was anchored on resource control and fiscal federalism. He warned that to evade discussion on restructuring would only postpone the tragedies ahead.
Also, the new Chairman of the group’s central zone, Tari Porri, said in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, that the country has not met the yearnings and aspirations of the Ijaw people.
Porri said in his address that restructuring was needed to address issues of marginalisation, resource control and the negative environmental impact on the people.
The group gave a 90-day ultimatum, starting from July 12, 2017 to all multinational companies that have field operations in the region, but headquarters outside.
Pereotubo, who urged such companies to relocate their headquarters, said the location of the firms’ headquarters in other states, especially Lagos has robbed the region of its due benefits and growth.
He said: “Over the years, monies that were supposed to accrue to the Niger Delta states and their people have been paid to Lagos State, thereby boosting its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). Relocating the headquarters would not only boost the revenue base of the Niger Delta states, it would also bring employment opportunities, thereby reducing youths restiveness in the region.”
Pereotubo lamented that the 56 licences issued for the refineries were given to non-Niger Delta private investors. They demanded that the conditions for obtaining the licence be relaxed to make them affordable for indigenous people.
The youth leader threatened to do everything possible to make the companies to relocate to liberate the people from their oppressors.
“We will invoke the Ijaw gods of war to go before us and we will triumph over evil. We have no fear and we have no doubt. No gunboats would stop us, not even fighter jets,” he said.
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