The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide on Monday warned that there would be more hostilities in the Niger Delta region if President Muhammadu Buhari failed to probe unfair allocation of oil blocs in the country.
Udengs Eradiri, President of the IYC, gave the warning at a press conference held at the Ijaw House, Yenagoa, as part of activities to celebrate this year’s Isaac Boro Day.
Many shops in the Bayelsa State capital were shut on Monday following a directive by the IYC that shop owners should not open for business as a mark of honour for Isaac Adaka Boro.
Eradiri’s warning came barely five days after the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) listed some oil blocs allegedly owned by former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Minister of Defence, General Theophilus Danjuma, ex-Minister of Petroleum, Alhaji Riwalnu Lukman, other Northerners and South-Westerners in Niger Delta region.
The new militant group in the region had among others, issued them a two-week ultimatum to shut down operations at the oil blocs and evacuate the workers from the locations or have them blown up.
Eradiri said that much of the ‘indiscriminate’ sharing of oil blocs were allegedly carried out when Buhari served as Petroleum Minister or Head of State.
He accused the President of denying Niger Deltans ownership of oil blocs at the time while allegedly allocating same to his kinsmen and their cronies.
“One of the most salient issues that if not addressed, will lead to more crisis is the issue of the oil blocs.
“President Buhari was one time Petroleum Minister and Head of State in this country. Let us go and do an assessment of that time. The time when criminally they shared our oil blocs was under his watch either as Petroleum Minister or as Head of State. It is in one of those times.
“Oil blocs were shared to one group. Look at it, either the person (owner of oil bloc) was a former military president or relative of the military president or an in-law to a military president”, Eradiri said.
The youth leader insisted that the allocation of the oil blocs did not follow due process outlined by the government.
He called for a total review of the oil blocs to redress the injustice that such a manipulated process had brought against oil-producing communities of the Niger Delta.
“And that is one of the biggest issues that if not addressed, there will be more Niger Delta Avengers, you will see groups and groups that will spring up until the issue is addressed”, he warned.
Eradiri described Boro as “an intellectual and fearless comrade” who stood up for the Niger Delta despite the oppressive tendencies of the government at the time.
The IYC president noted that the issues of underdevelopment of the region for which Boro took up arms against the Federal Government “were still hunting us till today”.