The Ijaw Youth Council has berated the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), for signing the controversial Petroleum Industry Bill into law, declaring that he (Buhari) was no longer welcome in the Niger Delta.
The IYC also warned the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, not to step his foot on the region, following his role in the passage of the PIB and subsequent presidential assent giving to it by Buhari.
The council made the declaration in a statement issued on Thursday in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, by the national spokesman for the IYC, Ebilade Ekerefe.
Ekerefe in the statement titled, ‘PIA: Buhari, Sylva are no longer welcome to Niger Delta- Ijaw youths’, said even though the President and the minister had the constitutional right to move to any part of the country, they should refrain from visiting the region.
“Their movement into the six states of the Niger Delta will be welcome with boos and disgraceful jeers due to their show of disregard to the plight and cry of the people of the region over the years,” he said.
Ekerefe said the decision not to welcome Buhari and Sylva in the region was a further condemnation of the disregard they had demonstrated towards the people, and should not expect accolades and congratulatory messages from the region.
According to him, the presidential assent given to the bill was an affront to the people, who had rejected the three per cent for oil host communities and demanded 10 per cent canvassed during the public hearings on the PIB.
He said the president should have sent the bill back to the National Assembly for upward review of the three per cent equity share to host communities whose environments had been destroyed by oil exploration activities.