THE Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide on Monday warned that there would be more hostilities in the Niger Delta region unless President Muhammadu Buhari probes unfair allocation of oil blocks in the country.
The IYC President, Udengs Eradiri, gave the warning at a news conference at the Ijaw House, Yenagoa, as part of activities to celebrate this year’s Isaac Boro Day.
Many shops in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, were shut on Monday following a directive by the IYC that shop owners should not open for business as a mark of honour for Boro.
Eradiri’s warning came barely five days after the Niger Delta Avengers listed some oil blocks allegedly owned by former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; a former Minister of Defence, Gen. Theophilus Danjuma; ex-Minister of Petroleum, Alhaji Riwalnu Lukman; and other northerners and south-westerners in the region.
The NDA had among others issued them a two-week ultimatum to shut down operations at the oil blocks and evacuate their workers from the locations or have them attacked.
Eradiri said that the indiscriminate sharing of oil blocks were allegedly carried out when Buhari served as Petroleum minister or Head of State.
He accused the President of denying Niger Delta people ownership of oil blocks at the time while allegedly allocating same to his kinsmen and their cronies like a bazaar.
He said, “One of the most salient issues that if not addressed will lead to more crisis is the issue of the oil blocks.
“President Buhari was a one-time Petroleum minister and Head of State in this country. Let us go and do an assessment of that time. The time when criminally they shared our oil blocks was under his watch either as Petroleum minister or as Head of State. It is in one of those times.
“Oil blocks were shared to one group. Look at it, either the person (owner of oil bloc) was a former military president or a relative of the military president or an in-law to a military president.”
Eradiri insisted that the allocation of the oil blocks did not follow due process as outlined by the government.
He called for a review of the oil blocks to redress injustice that such a manipulated process had brought against oil-producing communities of the Niger Delta.
“And that is one of the biggest issues that if not addressed, there will be more Niger Delta Avengers, you will see groups and groups that will spring up until the issue is addressed,” he warned. — Punch
— May 17, 2016 @ 5:06 GMT