PIB: Group Rallies Support For Diezani In Escravos

Source: thewillnigeria.com

Accuses N'Assembly of trying to kill PIB BEVERLY HILLS, CA, April 09, (THEWILL) - A group of graduates under the auspices of Graduates Association of the Niger Delta (GAND) has staged a solidarity rally in defence of the Petroleum Minister, Mrs.

Diezani-Allison Madueke, at Escravos, the Nigeria hub for major oil and gas activities in the Niger Delta.

The group alleged that the "series of attack" on the person of the minister were calculated attempts by the National Assembly to kill the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which she is championing.

The protesters said the lawmakers were only using the "private jet saga" to hoodwink the public that they were fighting corruption whereas they were pursuing their selfish agenda in the oil and gas industry.

The group, which protested at Escravos, Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State on Monday alleged that those "attacking" Diezani were enemies of the Niger Delta region.

Some of the placards displayed by the protesters had the inscriptions; "Removing Dezianni is anti-Niger Delta', 'Don't Kill PIB', 'Deziani, the face of this administration', 'Reps probe your salary before Deziani', the next target is Okonjo Iweala", ' conspiracy against Niger Delta must stop,' among others.

Leading the protesters, the President of GAND, Comrade Progress Omo-Agege, said rather than accusing Diezani of profligacy, the lawmakers should first make public their annual budgetary allocation, individual remuneration as well as their monthly allowances.

They said "this whole drama" by the lawmakers is targeted at the PIB .

They alleged that since Diezani is one of the arrow heads working towards the passage of the PIB which is intended to ensure rapid development of the Niger Delta, she has become "a victim of cabal intimidation".

A protest letter jointly signed by Messrs Progress Omo-Agege, Agbefe Sebastine as well as Matthew Itsekure , President, Secretary General and spokesperson of the group respectively, also alleged that the persistent fuel scarcity is a grand design by the cabal rooting for Deziani's sack.

'Activities of the House of Representatives have been fraught with inciting, unsubstantiated, spurious and politically motivated allegations targeted to further weaken the political relevance of the Niger Delta people in this unholy marriage called Nigeria,' the group said.

It held that scarcity of fuel across the country is a grand design by some business magnate to ensure Dezianni fails in her bid to transform the oil and gas sector of the economy.

" It is these business magnates who could not pressurise our delectable Minister in their failed bid to purchase oil blocs that are responsible for the unwarranted attacks," the statement said.

'Some key members of the House of Representatives, who are desirous to discredit the Minister and also print bad image of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration before Nigerians, particularly as the 2015 elections draw closer , are responsible for these unsubstantiated claims.

" They protesters therefore declared the House of Representatives' allegations against Deziani as anti-Niger Delta.

They however lambasted Alhaji Usman Bugaje of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) who claimed in earlier reports credited to him that crude oil in the Niger Delta is a property of the North.

The group said the Bugaje's claims was a tirade that was capable of threatening the prevailing peace in the Niger Delta.