The Ijaw National Congress, (INC), which is the apex umbrella organisation for all Ijaws, urged stakeholders in the Niger Delta not to allow the pipeline surveillance contract awarded to Chief Government Ekpemupolo, a.k.a Tompolo, to be a source of internal conflict that will cause destabilisation and insecurity in the region.
The INC President, Prof. Benjamin Okaba, gave the advice during an interface with some concerned Ijaw youth groups on the trending oil pipeline surveillance contract at Ijaw House, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
Okaba said the people of the Niger-Delta, particularly those from the Ijaw extraction, must love themselves and not allow the contract, which he described as ‘crumbs’ to tear the region apart. According to him, it was unfortunate and ridiculous that Ijaw brothers were threatening to kill themselves over crumbs (not even by way of ownership of oil wells) given to them “to help the State siphon away our God-given wealth”.
Okaba further said, amongst others: “Recently, the INC has been buffeted with reports of brewing tensions among various Ijaw youth groups as a result of the pipeline surveillance contract. We frown at such divisive tendencies and propensities.
“It must not be said that the token was targeted at creating an arena of infighting among Ijaw and Niger-Delta people and distracting them from focusing on our well-articulated goals and objectives. There are oppressive and suppressive national issues that are confronting us a people. We must take cognisance of this fact and other dangers to our existential realities as Ijaw people in a convoluted Nigerian polity”.
“In furtherance of the cardinal objectives of the INC, I enjoin you to constitute yourself into a committee charged with the responsibility of interfacing with the different Ijaw groups with a view to harmonising their individual interest and to ensure that in the process the Ijaw unity and agenda are not compromised”, he stated.