The Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide, has declared support for Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri that the Federal Government should return the revoked Atala Oil Marginal Field (OML 46) to the state.
The licence was revoked by the federal government through the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) in April 2020 for alleged non-performance.
Diri, had last Wednesday, July 14, during the state executive council meeting in Government House, Yenagoa, expressed shock over the revocation of the oil field.
The governor who was commenting on the issue publicly for the first time amid the controversy it had generated in recent times, said the marginal oil field remained a prized asset of the state to which it is sentimentally attached and called on the federal government to reconsider its decision on the matter.
He called on all concerned parties, including the DPR, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, to consider returning the oil field to the state.
According to him, the government and people of the state were emotionally and sentimentally attached to it, because it is the only oil asset owned by the state.
Reacting to the governor’s position the IYC, through its National Spokesman, Comrade Ebilade Ekerefe, said there was need for the Federal Government, through the relevant agencies and the supervising Minister in charge to return the oil field to the state under the doctrine of first refusal.
The IYC spokesman stated that the Bayelsa State Government which is the rightful owner of the Atala Oil Marginal Field (OML 46) should have been granted the right of first refusal before it was revoked and re-awarded.
He noted that though the revocation may have been triggered due to a purported mishandling of the oil field between the state and the relevant agencies of the Federal Government, the show of capacity by the administration of Governor Douye Diri to make things work should be enough reason to return the prized asset.
Ekerefe stated that the governor has, since assuming office, provided a conducive atmosphere and has been working with agencies of the Federal Government to ensure that the Brass Fertilizer company and the Brass LNG comes to fruition.
“I call on the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, to assist his state of origin to secure back the Atala Marginal Oil Licence for the sake of peace and development of the state and the Niger Delta region”, he said.