By Jeremiah Urowayino
The Itsekiri Consultative Congress, ICC, has accused the Federal Government of marginalizing Itsekiri Ethnic Nationality in the recent bid for 57 marginal oil fields by the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, noting that are capable Itsekiri Sons & Daughters whose firms are qualified for such licenses.
ICC in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Edema Collins Oritsetimeyin yesterday in Warri said: “We cannot continue to sit down and watch non-indigenes being offered Oil Mining Licenses in our homeland when we have capable Sons & Daughters, whose firms are qualified but denied licenses base on ethnocentric biases.
“Despite huge environmental hazards, poor sanitary conditions, lack of health care facility, and total lack of Federal Presence in any of the Itsekiri Host Communities, the Itsekiri Nation has been the most peaceful in the Niger Delta, contributing over 28% of Nigeria’s Oil & Gas.
“We, therefore, wish to use this opportunity to call on the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration to halt the current process of bids for the 57 Marginal Fields and come up with new modalities, where Competent companies owned by Itsekiri Sons & Daughters can be given right of first refusal in fields in our homeland before being thrown open to other indigenous firms.
“This is because our people will take issues of environmental pollution and degradation much more seriously.
“The Federal Government is hereby advised to shelve the current process in the interest of continuous peace in the Niger Delta especially Itsekiri homeland.”