The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), says it is considering its next line of action on the vexed issue of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), while still consulting and engaging critical stakeholders in the Niger Delta.
President of the IYC, Worldwide, Deacon Peter Timothy Igbifa stated this in an interview with journalists in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, saying it is the hope of the council that President Muhammadu Buhari would not append his signature to the bill as it is presently.
He disclosed that there is rising tension in the region following the passage of the bill because of the paltry three percent allocated to host communities and warned that if urgent steps are not taken to address the issue, there might be grave consequences.
The IYC leader further disclosed that the youths of the region are being prevailed to resist every attempt to be hostile but said in the event of any breakout of hostilities, the National Assembly would not be able to contain it.
“The continued taking for granted of the sensibilities of Niger Delta is unacceptable. They should not call for another return to the struggle. Oil should not bring us pain when other people’s resources bring them joy.
“We have always been taken for granted. On this PIB issue even the National Assembly would not be able to contain the crisis when it starts, so the issue of numbers at the National Assembly that takes decision against a few would not be accepted. They cannot just sit at the National Assembly and decide how much they would give us from our resources.
“We are doing so much as IYC to put ourselves under control. We pray that God would help us to remain under control. Otherwise this PIB would put pressure on this nation to the extent that is unimagined. We can drill this oil by ourselves. It is not magic. When we talk about resource control, people think it is a joke.
“The National Assembly after a lot of consultations would throw away those inputs and think their decision is final. I want to believe no member of the National Assembly from this region was part of that conspiracy. The issue of number at the National Assembly should not be a criteria for which negative decisions at all times will be taken against this region.
“The Niger Delta region has been quiet, it has been peaceful. There is enough reason for every part to think of secession. I hope this PIB would not throw us into turmoil such that the centre would not be able to hold.
“We are waiting to see what Mr President would do as this document is sent to him for assent. We must not produce President of Nigeria for PIB to be in favour of us. We must not have Senate President before the PIB would make sense. We must not have Secretary to the Government of the Federation; we must not have Chief of Staff before we can get justice*.
“Can’t we just deliver justice in this country for peace to reign? Justice is the voice crying out now let it not be pushed to the wall because even the wall would not be able to hold it”, he warned.