From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Youths from Isoko ethnic nationality have accused the Federal Government of exclusion in the award of the multi-billion naira oil pipeline surveillance contract to Mr. Government Ekpemupolo, aka Tompolo.
They alleged that Isoko nation was not carried along as critical stakeholders in the Niger Delta region, and, therefore, issued a seven-day ultimatum to the government, to address the injustice or be ready to contend with social disorder in the region.
In a communique issued by a coalition of 11 Isoko youth groups drawn from the 19 clans of Isoko nation, they adopted the petitions of Isoko National Youth Council addressed to the Presidency on September 25, 2022.
They urged the Federal Government to accede to their request within seven days or face the wrath of “a people who have patiently and peacefully protected Nigeria’s economic interest.”
The group also slammed the Group Executive Director, NNPC (Upstream), Mr Tombomieye Adokiye, and the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, for their alleged roles in awarding the contract to Tompolo, describing the action as an insult to the entire Isoko nation.
“It is an obvious truth that there is a deliberate nepotistic attempt to deprive Isoko of their quota in this negotiation; and riding on the back of this fact, the Isoko people cannot fold their arms this time around, because one can only accommodate oppression for so long.
“We, henceforth, term all those who, for pecuniary interest, sabotage the position of Isoko nation, as infidel and saboteurs, and shall be addressed, henceforth, and seen as such,” they said.
The coalition also pointed out that, as a testament to the fact that Isoko is being considered inconsequential, an ex-agitator, Asari Dokubo, who raised the same alarm over the Kalabari axis of Niger Delta, has been pacified with a subcontract.
“If such could be done for the Kalabari people, it must be replicated in Isoko, or it shall be interpreted strictly as a direct order from the federal government for Isoko youths to take up arms and destroy oil facilities, since it is the only relevant language that is nationally understood.
“We stand firmly on our position for a fresh contract, comprising the Isoko youths, or alternatively create a sub-contract deriving from the existing one. We are resolute on our call on the federal government to investigate the allegations in our earlier petition, with the intent to resolve them.
“We, as law abiding citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who believe in its sovereignty and the need for peace for development, give the federal government a seven-day ultimatum, to address our plight or face the wrath of a people who have patiently and peaceful protected its interest,” the communique read.