Isoko youth group decries FG’s alleged neglect

The Isoko Youth Agenda (IYA) has described Federal Government’s plans to restructure the country as a charade and bogus propaganda saying the government at the centre was insensitive to the plight of the Isoko ethnic nationality.

The group warned that if the Federal Government does not take urgent steps to resolve the marginalisation of the Isoko nation, it might take steps to earn recognition.

Its National President, Sabastine Agbefe, who spoke to journalists yesterday after its emergency meeting in Asaba, the Delta State capital, said it was time for the Isoko nationality to make moves to end the marginalisation and gross underdevelopment of the area.

“On June 13, 2015, a pipeline explosion rocked Idheze Community in Isoko South council of the state, which resulted to a fire outbreak that left the community devastated but till date, the federal authorities had made no effort to tackle the spillage,” he said.

Agbefe regretted that Uzere and other oil producing communities in Isoko land with 43 oil wells that produce over 53,000 barrels per day, were in a state of total neglect, adding that the situation is the same in Olomoro, Oleh, Irri, Ozoro, Igbide, Owhe and other oil bearing communities.

He said Isoko land is one of the most densely populated areas in Nigeria with about 500 people per square kilometer compared with average of 198 for Delta State and 130 for Nigeria.

He noted that the consequence has been a shortage of farmlands, which are accentuated by oil exploration activities in the region, adding: “Over 475 Isoko people migrate to Ughelli, Warri, Sapele, Benin, Ijebu-Ode, Ondo, Lagos, Kano and other parts of the country to find means of survival due to the deprivation in their area.

“They migrate to the rural areas of Benin, Ondo and Ijebu-Ode. Also, some 300,000 Isoko people are permanently indigenes of Ndokwa East and Sagbama councils of Delta and Bayelsa states, but have only two local government areas in Delta.

“Unfortunately, there is nothing of impact from the Federal Government to show for the oil being explored there for several decades now,” he added.

He said Isoko land provides 28 per cent of crude oil and gas to the Nigerian economy yet no visible infrastructure development are sited there, lamenting that the only federal presence in Isoko land were the two police stations in Oleh and Ozoro.

In this article:
Isoko youthSabastine Agbefe
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