By Ike Uchechukwu, CALABAR
The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), have called on Nigerians to support Chief Government Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo on the contract to secure pipelines in the Niger Delta region.
Secretary, Western Zone of the IYC, Mr Omaghomi OluDerimon, made the call on Monday when he spoke with Vanguard adding that ‘all hands must be on deck to protect our economic mainstay which is crude oil.’
He said the IYC had in time past, through various fora, expressed concern over the volume of oil theft in the region by some economic saboteurs.
“We really commend President Muhammadu Buhari led federal government for seeing to our concerns and subsequently doing something to address the issues.
“There is no Nigerian that is not concerned with the situation of the economy today and they must also know that the situation is made worse by the dwindling fortune of our oil which is caused by oil theft.
“Nigeria’s oil production have been on steady decline for sometime now and this is primarily occasioned by oil theft in the Niger Delta region.
“This situation is affecting all states of the federation and not Niger Delta alone,” he stated.
IYC Zonal Secretary, therefore, appealed to Nigerians not to see the award of the contract to Tompolo as politics or ethnicity.
Speaking further , he said that there was nothing political or regional about the contract but totally based on experience and expertise.
Following the huge financial loss occasioned by theft of crude oil, it is only imperative to award the contract to an experienced hand who knows the terrain and can deliver as and when due.
“This has nothing to do with the region or politics, someone who knows the place and its history and backed with the experience of handling things in the region was needed to reduce oil theft menace.
“Tompolo or whoever had been given the contract cannot, however, do it alone without the support of every single Nigerian,” he said .
Recall that the federal government had renewed a multi-million dollar pipeline surveillance contract to an ex agitator and Commander of the defunct Movement for Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND).