By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoa—The Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, worldwide, yesterday faulted the Federal Government’s decision to deploy more troops in the Niger Delta to protect oil installations, saying that the move would not stop oil theft, kidnapping and pipeline vandalism.
Spokesman of IYC, Eric Omare, in a statement in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, said that the solution to the problem lies in the constructive engagement of the people of the region.
He said: “From our experience of attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta region, sending more troops to the region will not solve the problem. It is common knowledge that incidents of oil theft, kidnapping and attacks on oil pipelines have been on the increase despite the presence of military men around oil installations and communities in the Niger Delta region.
“The IYC has always maintained that in some cases, security agents, contractors and even multi-national oil company workers are involved in these illegalities going on in the Niger Delta region.
“The Federal Government cannot claim ignorance of this fact with the security apparatus at its disposal. Instead of sending more troops who would come and commit more inconveniences to the people of the region such as intimidation, harassment of innocent villagers and unnecessary arrests, we call for quality intelligence gathering on the role of oil companies’ workers, contractors and security agents on the attacks on oil facilities.
“Ultimately, the solution to the problem of attacks on oil facilities lies in constructively engaging the people and communities of the Niger Delta where oil facilities are located.”