Ijaw youths reject FG’s offer on modular refineries

By Julius Osahon, (Yenagoa) and Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu (Benin City)    

• ‘No substitute to restructuring, federalism’

Ijaw youths have rejected the Federal Government’s offer to allow two modular refineries per state in the Niger Delta, maintaining that the move was incapable of halting oil theft in the region.

The youths under the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide, also called for the relaxation of the preconditions for getting licences, noting that the terms were capable of taking the establishment of the refineries beyond the reach of Niger Delta people.

President of the IYC, Mr. Oweilaemi Pereotubo, who briefed the press at the Ijaw House, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, insisted that two modular refineries per state were ‘grossly inadequate’ and would not stop illegal oil bunkering.

He said that using the word ‘host’ was synonymous with what currently obtains where oil blocs are given to all sorts of people outside the region, whereas the Niger Delta was only acting as hosts without benefits.

The youths also reiterated their call for the relocation of headquarters of International Oil Companies (IOCs) to the Niger Delta, stressing that the 90-day ultimatum given to the companies to comply still stands.

Meanwhile, the Niger Delta Elders and Leaders Forum (NDLFL) has again insisted that for Nigerians to coexist in peace and unity, there is no substitute to restructuring the country.

The coordinator of the group, Chief Mike Loyibo, in an interview yesterday, urged the Federal Government to give all the ethnic nationalities the opportunity to discuss the purpose and essence of their existence.

Similarly, a group, MidWest Movement, yesterday urged the Federal Governnent to revert to 1960 and 1963 Constitutions to entrench true federalism.

At a gathering yesterday in the Bishop Kelly Pastoral Centre, Benin City, Convener of the group, Dr. Don Pedro Obaseki, in an eight-point demand said the group is deeply concerned about the situation in the country, noting that “the federation of Nigeria is in dire straights.”

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