By Emma Amaize
BENIN—IJAW Youth Council, IYC, Western zone, yesterday, expressed disapproval at the non-inclusion of Ijaw indigenes by the Edo State government in the recently approved Board of the Edo State Oil and Gas Producing Area Development Commission, EDSOGPADEC.
Chairman, IYC, Western zone, Mr. Frank Akiefa, in a statement, said: “The largest quantity of oil and gas produced in Edo State is produced from the Ijaw communities of Gelegelegbene town in Olodiam Kingdom, Ovia North-East Local Government Area and Abiyala community in Egbema Kingdom, Ikpoba/Okha Local Government Areas of the state. Gelegele community alone produces about 90 per cent of the oil and gas in the state.
“There is, therefore, no justification whatsoever not to appoint Ijaw people whose communities are the breasts from which the economic milk is gotten, to the EDSOGPADEC Board. A similar scenario is the non-appointment of Ijaws to committees in the construction of Benin Industrial Park in Gelegele, an Ijaw community, Edo Investment Scheme Limited and Edo Refinery and Petrochemical Company /Modular refinery, which are projects, sited within Ijaw communities and which are supposed to benefit the Ijaw people.
“We call on Governor Godwin Obaseki and the Edo State House of Assembly, to set machineries in place to reverse these appointments and include the names of Ijaw people on the boards. Anything short of this will not be welcomed by the IYC and may lead to the Ijaw nation at large severing all ties with this administration, as we can no longer bear the injustice and wickedness meted on our people.”