By Festus Ahon
About 10,000 youths reportedly trained by the Host Oil Communities of Nigeria, HOSCON, are planning a mass protest in the Niger Delta region, it was learned on Wednesday.
Their grouse is that the Federal Government abandoned them after they underwent intensive practical training on oil pipeline surveillance.
It was gathered that the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Niger Delta, Ministry of Petroleum and the Office of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP, had given the go-ahead to HOSCON, led by Chief Mike Emuh, to organise the training for the youths as a form of community policing to guide the pipelines.
The states which were supposed to benefit from the project were Akwa Ibom, which had 1,000 trainees; Delta 2,000; Rivers, 1,000; Bayelsa, 700 and Edo 1,000.
Others include Ondo, 500; Imo, 500; Abia, 500; Cross River, 900; Anambra, 400, and Lagos, 700.
The non-oil producing but impacted states include Enugu, 400; Osun, 300, while Oyo, Ogun, Kogi, Kwara, Bauchi, Plateau, Kaduna, Benue, Gombe and Borno were yet to undergo training before the programme was reportedly stopped.
It was further learned that all issues relating to the engagement of the youth of all the oil-producing states before now were discussed with the former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Usani, former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu and former Special Adviser to the President on Amnesty Programme, General Paul Boro (retd), in 2017, 2018 and 2019.