A former member of the Federal House of Representatives Hon. Daniel Reyenieju, has warned both Itsekiri and Ijaw groups particularly those within the youths bracket, to exercise restraint in their utterances so as not to create avoidable tension in the area.
Reacting to the recently reported oil spill in the Abiteye oil field for which statements of threats are reportedly being issued by some groups, the former federal lawmaker appealed to Ijaw and Itsekiri persons living in the area to allow the relevant oil company responsible for maintaining the said flow station to first of all do the needful as required by law and practice before making demands which should be within the bounds of rationality, law and common sense.
Reyenieju further advised those within the immediate vicinity to acknowledge the fact that the effect and spillover from oil facilities in riverine areas are never the same when such spill even of equal proportion and dimension occur in non-riverine areas. According to him, while the crude oil gushing out from any spill in riverine area within few hours spread to tens of nautical kilometers and affecting even faraway communities due to tidal movements; such spills even of equivalent proportion (if occurred in non-riverine areas) will hardly affect communities that are not within the vicinity of such spills.
He appealed to youths of the area to not forget the recent histories of the region that was characterized by interethnic crises and mutual suspicion from which none of the groups gained anything.
The former lawmaker said the region especially it’s youths, must not be divided on areas of common interest that can potentially see to the physical and economic development of the region. He stressed that the budget of the country for more than half a century, have been based on revenue from oil which the region is blessed with and most “intervention” projects around the country are funded by the proceeds of oil and gas vested in the region.
Reyenieju therefore asked the youths to be there brother’s keeper as the fraternity among Ijaws and Itsekiri which extends beyond the account of any written or oral literature, is one that must be guarded by mutual respect and unconditional empathy for the plight of one another.