Ijaw Youths from the six states of the Niger Delta region have declared that President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva are no longer welcome in the region over their roles in the passage and signing of the Petroleum Industrial Bill (PIB) into law.

The Ijaw Youths said though Buhari and Sylva have the constitutional rights to go to any part of the country, they will be welcomed in any of the South-South states with boos and jeers. 

File Photo: Ijaw Youths Council (IYC)

They accused Buhari and Sylva of disregarding the plight of the people of the region over the years.

The Ijaw Youths, under the aegis of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) worldwide, had on Tuesday rejected the signing of the controversial Petroleum Industrial Bill (PIB) into law by Buhari. 

They described the signing of the PIB into law as an affront to the outcry of the people of the Niger Delta region. 

The law makes a provision of three percent equity share for the oil-producing communities even though the region had pushed for 10 percent. 

The National Spokesman for IYC, Comrade Ebilade Ekerefe, in a statement issued in Yenagoa, said Buhari should have sent the bill back to the National Assembly for upward review of the 3 percent equity share to host communities whose environments had suffered from decades of oil exploration activities by oil companies. 

He said a substantial percentage of the host communities would have helped to address this age-long criminality. 

"Until that is done, there’s nothing to celebrate," he said. 

Ekerefe described the passage of 3 percent equity share to the host communities and passage of 30 percent to frontier basins as rape of justice. 

It is against the unanimous 10 percent agreement by stakeholders for host communities when the National Assembly visited the region, the statement also said. 

He said, "With the speed the president used in signing the PIB without recourse to the stand by stakeholders from the region, the president has further demonstrated that the opinions of the Niger Delta people don’t matter in his government as we’ve witnessed in other areas that require the urgent attention of his government. 

"In the light of the foregoing, there’s no better time for the people of the Niger Delta region to intensify the struggle for resource control and self-determination. “We believe strongly that that will be the only sure path upon which our God-given natural resources can be managed by us and not this impunity we’ve witnessed from a repressive federal government under President Muhammadu Buhari.”

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