UGHELLI- THE Urhobo Youth Leaders Association, UYLA, in Delta State, Tuesday, shouted at the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate Group, NDGJM, which announced, Monday, that it was not prepared for talks with the Federal Government, saying it (militant group) is a bunch of strange criminals and does not symbolize any interest.
“Those militants are mischief makers, Greenland Justice does not represent any interest, we, the Urhobo Youth Leaders Association believe in negotiation and the 16-point demand by the Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF,” UYLA said in a statement by the secretary general, Comrade Vincent Oyibode.
It added: “They are faceless criminals, who are they, where are their communities, they should show their identities if they are really fighting for Niger Delta. They claim to know what they do not know.”
Meanwhile, Oghior community in Udu local government area is demanding a compensation of N855 million from the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, for damage and allegedly failing to contain an oil spillage in the community in September, which the militant group took advantage of to make a bogus claim.
It has written a letter to the state governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, informing him that the fire outbreak in the community was caused by NPDC negligence, saying the locals noticed the leakage on September 19, alerted the management of the company, which acted lackadaisically until last Sunday fire incident.
Clearly piqued by NDGJM’s claim that its strike force brought down the 42-inch delivery line operated by the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company, NPDC and ND Western in Delta state, last Sunday, the UYLA emphasized: “The fire outbreak at Oghior in Udu local government area was basically caused by NPDC negligence and not by any militant attack.”
It said the chairman of Ughell South local government area, Mr. Paul Etaga, who purportedly confirmed that vandals actually went to the pipeline prior to Sunday to breach the line, “lack jurisdiction to speak on the issue.”
“The Oghior community informed the chairman of Udu local government council, Solomon Kpoma of the spillage, but because of the impending crisis in Udu kingdom at the time with Ijaw, he was not chanced to look into the issue till this incidence occurred,” the association asserted.
The group maintained that it was wrong for the militant group to come out from nowhere and claim responsibility for an oil spillage in the community, which the people had long reported to NPDC.
On its part, Oghior community, which insisted on withdrawal of NPDC from the area if it refused to pay the said compensation of N855 million and for its failure to contain the spillage since it was reported to it, September, also asserted that the fire explosion was not caused by militants.
President General of the community, Hon Wisdom Ghagara, who also called for relief materials to cushion the excruciating effects of the spill and subsequent fire incidences warned: “If these demands are not met, NPDC should stop its operations in our land.”
“Its operation has not been beneficial to us over these decades, but it has brought so many untold hardships to us,” he lamented.