From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The leadership of Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) has offered reasons for renewed agitations and threats to the peace pact between people of the region and the Federal Government.
The organisation, which is the umbrella body of Ijaw youths worldwide, said threats of renewed violence by militant groups and attacks on oil facilities were caused by failure by the Federal Government to address contentious issues of development and youth empowerment in the region.
Spokesperson for the group, Ebilade Ekerefe, in a statement said the refusal of the Federal Government to allow host communities and people of the region participate in the ownership, exploration and exploitation of crude oil domiciled in the region was igniting fresh anger and tension in the region. He also warned the government to be wary of threats of renewed agitations as it could snowball into full scale violence, especially if the proposed 2.5 per cent to host communities in the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) was not changed to the 10 per cent as demanded by the oil producing communities.
Ekerefe listed other issues that should be resolved by the Federal Government to ensure peace in the region to include amendment to the new policy by the Presidential Amnesty Programme that ex-militant youths undergo a mandatory participation in the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) examination as condition to benefit from scholarships to study in Nigerian universities and the refusal of the government to allow capable professionals from the region participate in the bidding for licenses to own oil blocs.
While calling the attention of the National Assembly to expedite action on the passage of the PIB, the IYC commended the National Assembly for their frantic efforts to douse rising anger ignited by President Muhammadu Buhari-led executive on the bill, by assiduously working to ensure its passage into law.