S/West Group Urges Tinubu To Assign Pipeline Protection To Indigenous Firms

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President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been asked to ensure the protection of petroleum pipelines in the South West is handled by an indigenous company in the region.
The Oodua Nationalist Coalition(ONAC) said the people of the South West are disturbed that contracts for the protection of pipelines in the Ijawland were given to indigenous companies in the area while the protection of pipelines in the South West area have been given to companies not indigenous to the South West.
“This decision is caused lack of cooperation of indigenous people in the South West who feel sidelined by the award of pipeline protection in their indigenous territories to companies alien to them.
“Any pipeline protection in the South West should be handled by a companies based and owned by people of the South West. This is equity based on common sense” the Oodua Nationalist Coalition said in a statement issued on Wednesday. ONAC is a coalition of 45 Pan Yoruba groups.
In the statement signed by the Organising secretary, Sunday Akinnuoye and Women Leader, Alahaja Munirat Ojuolape, the coalition commended the President for renewal of the private pipeline protection mechanism. The group however said the pipelines in the South West from Ondo to Lagos should be handled by a company owned by people indigenous to the South West.
ONAC said, during the Amnesty programme, armed groups in Ilaje Yoruba territories handed over their weapons as condition for peace and with the hope that the government would address their grievances but regretted that the Ilaje Yoruba groups have been denied the opportunity given to their counterparts in the Niger-Delta.
The group said that Ondo State has the longest coastline in Nigeria and that Ondo and Lagos are oil producing areas.
“The people have voted for APC overwhelmingly since 2015. In the last election, Ondo State recorded the highest percentage of votes for President Tinubu. It is therefore embarrassing that the Federal Government does not consider any company worthwhile in the entire South West for pipeline protection in the vast territories.
“Security of pipelines can only best be handled by people indigenous to the area. Security is a local matter. The people of the South West cannot understand why the protection of pipelines in the region is not the responsibility of people who own the land where the pipelines pass through” the group said.
ONAC said there is no justification for giving out the protection of oil pipelines in the South West to people from other regions.
ONAC said the South West has a retinue to experts in the Niger Delta Coastline Vanguard (NDCV) that are competent enough to protect pipeline in the entire South West area adding that hat it was high time the protection of pipelines went to indigenous companies in the South West.
“The pipelines in the Niger Delta are protected by people from that area. There is no justification for giving out pipeline protection in the South West to people from outside the region” ONAC said..
The group said it had to shelf its planned mass demonstration in South West key cities because it believed President Tinubu would listen to the concerns raise by the people.
“We see what goes on in the North where Civilian Joint Task Force, (JTF) have been set up. The members are local people who are indigenous to the areas of operation. Why should this be different in the case of the oil pipelines in the South West?,” he said.
ONAC said millions of Youths in the South West are angry about the development.
“Apart from the fact that the decision will not guarantee safety for the pipelines since the companies are considered by the people as alien to them, it had also robbed many Yoruba youths the opportunity for jobs at a time of economic meltdown,” the group noted. The group said it will send petitions to the President and expects that the injustice will be promptly corrected

 

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