By Ovie Okpare
Youths of oil-rich Ndokwa ethnic nationality in Delta State have given the Federal Government 14 days ultimatum to address alleged marginalisation of their people or face disruption of oil and gas operations in the area.
They said upon the expiration of the ultimatum, Ndokwa people would mobilized and shut down oil and gas facilities within Ndokwaland to demand for justice and equity from the President Muhammadu Buhari government.
The youths under the aegis of Youth wing of Ndokwa Neku Union (NNU), apex socio-cultural umbrella of the Ndokwa people worldwide, lamented that despite playing host to chain of oil multinationals in the Niger Delta region, the area has been neglected by the Federal Government.
The aggrieved youths spoke on Tuesday at a press conference in Kwale, Delta State, where they claimed that Ndokwaland currently generates about 50 per cent oil and gas resources for the government.
They specifically called on the Federal Government to cancel the process for the award of the 57 Marginal Oil Fields in the Niger Delta region by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for excluding indigenes of the area in the bidding process.
The text of the press conference which was signed by its NNU Youth President, Comrade Afam Ogbolu and other officials of the body including Comrade Bright Enueshike and Comrade Azuka Justice Odanike, noted that the people Ndokwa Nation will reject and resist attempt to award marginal fields in their land to strangers.
Comrade Ogbolu posited that Ndokwa Nation despite playing host to several oil and gas company including the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, Sterling Global Oil, Pillar Oil, Platform Petroleum Company, Chorus Energy, Midwestern Oil and Gas, the area has no federal presence or appointment.
“We call on the Federal Government to quickly attend to our demands in two weeks, or all oil facilities including those of Nigeria Agip Oil Company, Sterling Global Oil, Pillar Oil, Platform Petroleum Company, Chorus Energy, Midwestern Oil and Gas, and others in Ndokwa nation, will be brought to their knees.
“We wish to state categorically that all marginal oil fields in Ndokwa nation belong to Ndokwa people, and none should be sold to anybody under any guise, but to Ndokwa people; failure by the FG to try to sell any oil field in Ndokwa land will be met with full scale resistance”, he said.
The youths also demanded that the Federal Government to appoint the next Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) from Ndokwa ethnic nationality, warning that they will no longer play the second fiddle in the region.
According to them, “NDDC and other Niger Delta agencies managerial appointments: It is crystal clear that the F G is trying to cut out Ndokwa nation from Niger Delta; if not, how do you explain the non inclusion of Ndokwa people in the NDDC board, or any Niger Delta agencies since their inception. We call on the Federal Government to appoint an Ndokwa person as the Managing Director of NDDC now.
“There is no Federal Government’s presence in Ndokwa nation, except for a Correctional Center. We call on the FG to immediately cite a Federal Polytechnic or a University of Technology in any part of Ndokwa nation.
“We call on the Executive Director, Social Services in DESOPADEC, to also, lead the two other commissioners to start the processes of oil quantum review in Ndokwa nation.
“We cannot continue to accept the 9 per cent derivation formular done in 2007, even after more oil companies have being established in Ndokwa nation, and Ndokwa nation has the highest gas deposit in Sub-Saharan Africa.
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“We urge all multinational oil companies in Ndokwa nation, to immediately relocate their headquarters to Ndokwa land, or we stop them from operating in Ndokwa nation.
“The step-down of electricity project in Ndokwa nation should be immediately completed.
“We urge the Federal Government to immediately, rehabilitate, the Agbor/Sapele Road, and other federal roads in Ndokwa nation, as they have turned to nightmare to road users.
“We call on INEC to immediately, reactivate the existence of Constituencies 2 in both Ndokwa East and West, as it were before now.
“The FG should immediately compel all multinational oil companies in Ndokwa Nation to sign a favourable Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with host communities in Ndokwa nation, and abide by it.
“We call on the Federal Government to immediately repatriate over 2000 illegal immigrants from India, China, Lebanon and others illegally working in oil companies in Ndokwa nation, as they have also illegally taken the jobs belonging to our youths for themselves.
“We call on the Delta State Government to immediately approve the take-off of Aboh Polytechnic and develop the Delta State School of Marine Technology, Kwale Campus.
“We urge the Federal Government, to immediately, complete the shore protection project initiated by the NDDC in the riverine communities in Ndokwa nation.”