From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has given a seven-day notice to International Oil Companies (IOCs) to evacuate their personnel from various oil platforms in the Niger Delta.
The council said the notice is in line with the 30 days ultimatum handed to the Federal Government to inaugurate a substantive board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The latest threat from the IYC is coming 24 hours after it threatened to re-enact the 12 days revolution embarked upon by the late Isaac Boro when he declared the Niger Delta Republic in 1966.
The IYC president, Peter Igbifa, who spoke with newsmen after observing the annual Boro day celebration in Yenagoa, also adviced IOCs and other oil companies owned by Nigerians to prepare to evacuate the region.
According to him, the decision taken to serve the IOCs notice is to demonstrate the seriousness of Ijaw youths on its decision to ensure a total shutdown of oil exploration activities in the Niger Delta if the NDDC board is not inaugurated after the expiration of the 30 days ultimatum which is a few days away.
Igbifa advised IOCs to peacefully move their personnel out of the region to avoid casualties in course of the shut down.
“We are not going to carry gun and chase anybody as Ijaw youths, but we will stand on our rights until our demand for substantive board is inaugurated in the NDDC.
“In line with the ultimatum as the days are counting, we should have nine days remaining to go. All IOCs operating in our region should begin a peaceful and gentle evacuation of their personnel. It should be a very gentle and peaceful evacuation because we do not want anybody to take advantage of the shutdown.
“We want them to take responsibility of their personnel, remove them gently. If you have IOCs that operates flow stations, take the remaining days and time and them shutdown gently by yourself.
“We are not coming to your flow station, shut them by yourself, we want you to shut the flames by yourself and vacate your personnel,” he said.
Igbifa urged the Federal Government to do the needful before the end of the ultimatum to avoid the breakdown of law and order as they may not be able to guarantee the safety of personnel working with IOCs.