Oil Platform: Ijaw Youths Draw Battle Line

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[ThisDay] The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) on Sunday reacted to the controversy between the presidency and the owners of the multi-million dollars Egina Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) facility over the decision of the federal government to relocated the fabrication activity from LADOL yard in Lagos to Agge in Bayelsa State

The youths said they would not allow materials fabricated in Lagos to be used on the platform in the Niger Delta region.

The IYC reaction was subsequent to the interim order of the federal high court in Lagos stopping the federal government from implementing the directive.

According to the IYC in a statement by its spokesman, Eric Omare, “We want to make it clear that whether court injunction or no court injunction, we would not allow materials to be fabricated in Lagos and used to build oil platform in the Niger Delta region. The region has been taken for granted for too long and we would no longer accept it.

“The IYC and indeed the Niger Delta people back the directive of President Goodluck Jonathan to move the fabrication of oil and gas materials to the Niger Delta region where the eventual job is to be done. We also support the directive to move oil and gas cargoes to only ports in Warri, Calabar and Onne. This is not only in line with the requirement of the local content law but is also makes so much economic sense.

“It is common knowledge that Lagos is highly congested and there is need to move some class of cargoes especially oil and gas materials to ports within the Niger Delta region where the oil facilities are located.

“We consider the opposition to the presidential directive and the attendant media propaganda by the Lagos cabal as an insult on Niger Deltans. It is on record that all the oil companies operating in the Niger Delta region have their offices in Lagos to the detriment of the Niger Delta economy.

“Henceforth, Niger Deltans would take steps to ensure that any oil company without its headquarters in the region would not be allowed to operate in the region. The IYC frowned and condemn the ex-parte order of the federal high court.”

The group further said: “We wonder how the federal high court would hurriedly grant such an order without giving opportunity to other parties to present their own side of the case. We question the swiftness of the order of the court and call on the National Judicial Council (NJC) to investigate the judge who granted the order.”

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