By Samuel Tombra, Yenagoa
Ijaw youths have warned against further attacks of oil installations and pipelines in the Niger Delta region.
This is coming just as the youths described persons behind recent attacks on pipelines in Delta and Bayelsa states as the enemies of the region saying they should be arrested and treated like common criminals.
But the youths under the aegis of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Worldwide, appealed to the Federal Government and security agencies to extend their investigations on pipeline attacks to some scrupulous contractors working for oil companies in the region.
Addressing a press conference in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, the IYC President, Mr. Udens Eradiri, said the recent attacks on pipelines had nothing to do with the Niger Delta agitation.
“We condemn these attacks and we will continue to condemn them. It is not a means of attracting attention any more. We have moved beyond that. Those destroying these pipelines are destroying our livelihood, our community and the futureÂ Â of our environment.Â
“And so you destroy a pipeline to send a message to a contractor for instance, and then on the long run you destroyed your entire family lineage for decades to come.
“Nigerians must not misconstrue the destruction of pipelines with the agitation in the Niger Delta. So far as we are concerned all the incidence that had happened in these recent time had nothing to do with the agitation of the Niger Delta”, Eradiri said.
Eradiri warned youths in the area to stay clear of oil installations insisting that acts of sabotage were not only dangerous to the economy but also capable of ruining the environment for posterity.
But the IYC boss explained that oil companies made pipeline attacks attractive by voting huge sums of money as amount paid to contractors for repairs on each ruptured part of a pipeline.
He said: â€œIf the pipeline are attacked, the multinationals pay as much as N7.5million for a ruptured pipeline. And if 100 parts of the pipelines are bombed, the company pay N7.5million times 100.
Â â€œWith this arrangement and variation in payments by oil and gas multinationals, the criminal elements hired by some of their staff are sent to attack the pipelines. They should stop accusing the people of the Niger Delta region. The recent bombings have nothing to do with the Niger Delta agitation.
â€œNigerians must not confuse pipeline destruction with Niger Delta agitations. It has nothing to do with Niger Delta.
“President Muhammadu Buhari should investigate some bad elements in oil companies and the contractors they use for these jobs. They use these people to the detriment of the nation and come back to blackmail the Niger Delta people. Most the companies they use for repairs are owned by the directors in the oil companies”, he said.
Eradiri further unveiled a plan to mobilise one million youths to protest against the Federal Government’s plot to scrap the Niger Delta Maritime University in Delta State.
He said the one-million-man march would be arranged like a youth convention at the temporary site of the university in Kurutie community.