Yenagoa—The Ijaw Youths Council (IYC), has cautioned the Arewa Youths Assembly over comments against former Niger Delta ex-agitator, Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo because of the pipeline surveillance contract reportedly awarded to him by the Federal Government.
According to the IYC, despite the vexatious and provocative nature of the comment and threat of protest by the group, youths of the six states of the Niger Delta region support the decision to award the surveillance contract to Tompolo.
They stated that his capacity can never be questioned by the Arewa youths.
In a statement by its spokesman, Ebilade Ekerefe, the IYC warned that instead of them to become hired hands to criminal elements involved in oil theft in the region and castigating Tompolo, they should start supporting security agencies to tackle cases of kidnapping, banditry, terrorism in the North.
“They should also know that the likes of Tompolo and many sincere youth leaders have been working to protect the peace and security of the Niger Delta. What were they doing to contribute to the needed security in the north?
“Tompolo has worked tirelessly for the peace in the Niger Delta and will continue to sustain and protect the wealth of the nation in collaboration with other stakeholders,” the IYC said.
Ekerefe, while declaring that the northern youths lack the right to fault the NNPC and Federal Government decision on the award of the oil pipeline surveillance contract, warned that the Arewa youths should be shameful that Tompolo and others are protecting the source that feeds the nation while they are idle and allowing insecurity to fete the northern states.
The IYC also commended the NNPC limited under the leadership of Mele Kyari and the Federal Government for its wisdom in awarding the pipeline surveillance contract to Tompolo, noting that it is a sign of good faith and a step in the right direction.
The statement reads in part:
“Let us use this opportunity to also say that our struggle in the region is the complete control of our resources but we must commend the FG for doing the right thing by giving the protection of vital nation’s wealth to our leaders.
“We also want to state that the agitation and struggle for resource control is an article of faith and the struggle cannot be compromised.”
“The Federal Government has done the right thing by giving the oil pipeline surveillance contract to the Niger Delta youth leaders. These are leaders that are passionate about peace and a safe environment.
“While this is happening, the FG should also as a matter of urgency address the very issues we have raised bothering the completion of the East/West road project, the immediate setting up of the NDDC Board and the quick completion of the cleanup of the Ogoni land.
“As a Government that is winding up, they should show seriousness towards these issues and let the people be proud to say this administration has done well.”
While calling on Oil Multinationals to heed the call of President Buhari and relocate to the region, the IYC urged them to be aware that the region is the most peaceful at the moment as a result of concerted efforts by stakeholders.
The IYC averred that instead of violent agitation, the region should intellectually engage the Federal Government on issues bothering the survival of its people.