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President Muhammadu Buhari

Involve communities in securing oil pipelines, not troops — Ijaw youth group advises FG

President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari
CHINEDU WOSU, Yenagoa

Leadership of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Worldwide, has faulted Federal Government’s decision to deploy more troops to Niger Delta communities to protect oil installations.
The group maintains that rather than deploy more troops to the region, a quality intelligence gathering on the role of oil companies’ workers, contractors and security agents on the attacks on oil facilities would have been more appropriate.
The leadership said the solution to the problem of attacks on oil facilities lies in constructively engaging the people and communities of the Niger Delta where oil facilities are located and not the deployment of more troops to the area.
IYC in a statement by its spokesman, Comrade Eric Omare said: “It is a matter of common knowledge that incidents of oil theft, kidnapping and attacks on oil pipelines have been on the increase despite the presence of military men around oil installations and communities in the Niger Delta region.
The IYC in a statement also accused the security agents, contractors and even oil company workers are complicit in these illegalities going on in the Niger Delta region.
Omare said, “The federal government cannot claim ignorance of these facts with the security apparatus at its disposal. Instead of sending more troops who would come and commit more inconveniences to the people of the region such as intimidation, harassment of innocent villagers and unnecessary arrests, we call for quality intelligence gathering on the role of oil companies’ workers, contractors and security agents on the attacks on oil facilities”
“The solution is not to send all the soldiers in the country to the region as sending more soldiers would only complicate the already complex situation.”Omare said.
He recommended an incentive-based legal framework to make the communities where oil facilities are located stakeholders, adding that this ‘would give them a sense of belonging to protect the oil facilities in their communities.’

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