National Spokesman of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Ebiladei Ekerefe has said the relative peace and conducive working environment enjoyed by the International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in the Niger Delta is largely due to the peaceful disposition of the leaders of the region, amidst the provocative negligence and ill-treatment being meted out to the people of the oil-rich region by the oil companies.
Ekerefe’s comment is coming on the heels of a tweet posted by former Kaduna Senator, Shehu Sani, who said the only region that is comparatively peaceful is the south-south.
While Sani’s comment may ordinarily be seen as a welcomed compliment, it also may have awoken some sort of anger in him.
The only region that is comparatively peaceful is the South South;that’s why the Heart of the economy is still beating,despite the bloodshed and violence in the other regions.We should all be grateful for that.
— Senator Shehu Sani (@ShehuSani) April 6, 2021
Ekerefe in his post disclosed that there would have been a huge level of economic instability if the leaders of the region had not chosen to consciously address some of the challenges through dialogue and intellectual engagement.
However, Ekerefe’s post hinted that the open window for dialogue may be closing soon as the Federal Government and the IOC’s seem to be paying a deaf ear to the yearnings of the people of the Niger Delta.
Ebilade in his reply, via Facebook post, said:
If not for the steps stakeholders of the region have taken to maintain peace, security, and stability, the Niger Delta would’ve imploded and severely affect the economy of the country by now. We are gradually getting to that crescendo level if steps are not urgently taken to address the demands of the people by the federal government. The ominous signs are already there and as IYC, we’ve forewarned and pointed it out clearly. If for any reason the Niger Delta implodes, we reiterate that the federal government and the IOCs should be held responsible.
The reaction may not be unconnected with the fact that there have been series of reports of oil spills in some parts of Bayelsa, including the recent case of a spill in Otuokpoti community in Ogbia Local Government Area and the recent protest against the negligence of AGIP in Igbomoturu community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.