ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide has denied any plan to embark on a one-million man march in protest against the passage and signing of the Petroleum Industrial Act (PIA).
The youths’ group said in a statement on Sunday that though it was angered by the passage and signing of the PIA, protest march was not on the agenda of the group.
It said the IYC was open to a town hall meeting with the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, over the provisions of the Act.
National Spokesman for the IYC, Ebilade Ekerefe, reiterated that the IYC was not planning any protest.
He, however, said: “But we are aware of some civil society organisations planning to carry out civil protests in Abuja against the ‘day light robbery’ on the Niger Delta people.
“And if that happens, we shall be in solidarity with them. What we said is that President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, should not come to the Niger Delta region for now because of the alleged roles they played in the signing of the PIA which has resulted in palpable anger of the people.”
Ekerefe maintained that if the duo of Buhari and Sylva came to the region, they would be greeted with boos and cheers.
He added: “It will not be the first time such disgraceful treatment will be meted out to inconsiderate leaders.
“The only way out is for Sylva to come back to his region and organise town hall meetings with stakeholders and explain why the agreed 10% was reduced to a meagre 3%. Until that is done, our position still stands.”