Involve us in your operations or leave our land – Ijaw youths tell oil firms

agip_pipeline20 November 2013, Yenagoa — The Ijaw Youth Council, yesterday, urged indigenous oil companies acquiring oil fields in the Niger Delta to ensure that the people of the oil producing communities have a stake in the ownership and operations of such firms or be prepared to face their wrath.

President of IYC, Mr Udengs Eradiri, gave the warning at the annual general meeting of the Keffes Rural Development Foundation hosted by Chevron Nigeria Limited in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

He singled out Seplat, an indigenous upstream oil company, said to have bought most of the oil fields belonging to Shell Petroleum Development Company in Ijawland.

Eradiri warned that the youths would not allow the company to operate its fields in Ijawland, unless the local people were given a say as directors and percentage of ownership in the company.

He said: “We must be given a say in the ownership and operations of the oil fields in our areas. We must get a directorship in the oil company, ownership and profit sharing. I am sending this message to them that we will not allow them to operate in our land unless our demands are met.”

Earlier, Chevron’s General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, Mr Deji Haastrup, in a goodwill message, commended the leadership of the Keffes Foundation for the commissioning of 30 projects in Keffes communities.

The projects, according to him, include rural electrification, town halls, concrete foot bridges, market stalls, principal’s quarters for a community secondary school and provision of generating plants for deep riverside communities.

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