From: Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
A group of Ijaw youths, on Thursday, staged a peaceful protest to the headquarters of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, accusing it of operating without meaningful impact for the people of the Niger Delta region.
The protest, led by Chairman of IYC central zone, Mr. Tare Porri, triggered tension in Yenagoa and paralysed business activities along the Sani Abacha Expressway.
According to the protesters, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board operates an empty office in Bayelsa without notable directors and top management staff. They also alleged that the NCDMB had opening operating branch offices in Abuja and Lagos.
The operating office in Abuja and Lagos, Porri said, contravened the Nigerian Content act, section 71, sub paragraph 3, which stipulated that the local content board has the powers to establish branch offices within oil and gas producing states.
While stating that the IYC would not allow the Board to divide the people and their common interest they alleged that all directors and top management staff spent their time everyday in Lagos and Abuja offices, but come once in three month to the headquarters, located in Yenagoa.
The protesters also declared that the National President of IYC, Mr Owelaemi Pereotubo, has abandoned the central zone where his office is located.
They noted that Peretubo who, upon assumption of office, issued an ultimatum to oil multinationals to relocate to the Niger Delta region, has suddenly back-pedaled on his earlier stance.
Porri noted that the central zone was ready to ensure that the people of the oil communities in Ijaw nation do not suffer because of bad leadership.
The group kicked against what it called the over-bearing attitude of the national leadership and advised it to steer clear of the day to day activities of the central zone.