From Tony John, Port Harcourt
Hundreds of youths in Rivers State, yesterday, staged a peaceful protest along Port Harcourt streets, against attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta region.
The youths on the platform of National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Rivers State branch, expressed their displeasure with the spate of cultism and other criminal activities.
They marched from First Artillery to Azikiwe Road in Port Harcourt, with placards bearing different inscriptions.
President of NYCN in the state, Mr. Sukubo Sara-Igbe, disclosed that the campaign was necessitated because of the rise in cases of kidnapping and other criminal activities.
Sara-Igbe said the activities of vandals were affecting the economic well being of the region and called on aggrieved youths not to destroy pipelines and other oil installations.
He thanked Belema oil for providing 520 jobs for youths in the state, warning the youths to desist from cultism, pipeline vandalism and other activities that could threaten peace in the state.
“We thank the Federal Government for giving a Niger Delta son the opportunity of operating Belema oil. We also thank the governor for creating an enabling environment for the company to operate.
“Today, the Rivers people are celebrating the company for the jobs it created for over 520 youths. But, we are not happy that youths are involved in destroying critical infrastructures in the region. We kick against vandalism and cultism in the entire Niger Delta region.
“We are making this protest, so that youths will shun armed robbery, oil theft and embrace peace; so that investors can come and invest in the state and in the region.
“Rivers youths are now ready to protect investors because we don’t want our youths to disturb them.
“If the Federal Government will release more oil blocks to the Niger Delta people, it will put to rest the continuous agitation in the area.”