By Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN—VICE Chairman of the Ijaw Youth Congress, IYC, Delta, Edo and Ondo States, Mr. Andrew Igiri, has appealed to the Edo State Governor, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, to look into the demolition of Agbede Ijaw settlement in Ovia South-West Local Government Area of the state by Okomu Oil Palm Plc, under the guise that the community and its environs were sold to it by the Chief Lucky Igbinedion administration.
He told the Governor that on April 2, 2008, the management of Okomu Oil Palm Plc moved into the village and demolished it, claiming that it was sold to them by the government just as he insisted that more Ijaw settlements in the area were on the verge of being bulldozed b y the company under similar excuses.
Igiri and some Ijaw youths, who were at Vanguard’s Zonal Office in Benin, yesterday, to register their protest on the activities of Okomu Oil Palm Plc, lamented that no single Ijaw person was in the employment of the oil palm company, adding that there was no single contractor of Ijaw extraction in the company, which he said was located on Ijaw soil.
Commenting on the recent recruitments of youths by the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, the Ijaw youth leader accused the Edo State arm of the commission of neglecting the Ijaws of the state, saying that “whenever there are problems involving oil producing communities and the military, we are made to bear the consequences.”
“The aim of establishing the NDDC by the federal government is to ensure the development of oil producing communities and states. But here in Edo State, NDDC has turned to Niger Delta Individual Development Commission.
There is no single project of the NDDC in Ijaw area of Edo state and of the 120 youths recently employed by the Commission, there was no single Ijaw among them”.
He also carpeted the Niger Delta Ministry for doing nothing to solve the problem of the Niger Delta region.
On the political marginalization of the Ijaws of Edo state, the youths appealed to Governor Oshiomhole to address the imbalance and injustice being melted out to them just as they called on him to call to order the leadership of his party, the Action Congress of Nigeria (CAN) who were using his name for political motives.