A coalition of Niger Delta youth groups have called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), not to assent to the Petroleum Industry Bill recently passed by the Senate.
The coalition said they reject the three per cent approved for host communities, saying the entire PIB was a fraud against the oil-producing communities and the Niger Delta people.
Speaking on behalf of the coalition at a media briefing in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, Solomon Lenu, who doubles as convener, Ogoni Development Drive, called for the urgent review of the PIB to reflect the views of the host communities.
Lenu, who is also the spokesman, Rivers State Civil Society Organisation, said the action of the Senate undermines the 65 years of oil discovery and exploration activities in the region and the resultant devastation of the environment there.
Lenu said, “Instead of celebrations, we were left distraught with the discovery and realisation that most of our tiny but critical demands which were made out of our magnanimity as a people of peace had not been met with the current bill as passed.
“That the PIB must be revisited with the views of the host communities carefully considered, as this was not the case with the current bundle of pain the National Assembly is trying to foist upon the oil-producing communities.
“That the current review of the 1999 constitution should precede the review and ratification of the PIB, as most of the skewness and marginalization we see with this bill’s passage is predicated upon the careful malevolence in the 1999 constitution.
“That there will be consequences in form of dissociation and loss of partnership of Niger Delta youths and people, should the government proceed further without giving consideration to the anomalies cited in the position of ours.”
Also speaking, the Executive Director, Center for Social Justice and Environmental Rights Protection, Legborsi Yamaabana, said, “Our position is irrevocable in the sense that if the government does not listen to the voice of good reasoning, the cost will be too much.
“If the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government assent to this bill, Niger Delta will withdraw our social license from the oil companies.
“The Buhari government must not assent to this bill in the collective interest of national healing and reconciliation,” Yamaabana said.