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PIB: We'll Resist Attempt To Enslave Us – IYC

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SAN FRANCISCO, May 15, (THEWILL) – Foremost Ijaw youth organisation, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), has warned those it called enemies of the Niger Delta region not to take the collective resolve of the region to allow peace reign for granted, adding that it would resist any attempt to enslave the region.

IYC spoke in reaction to the purported decision of the House of Representatives to expand the application of the Petroleum Host Community Fund in the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to cover the entire states with oil refinery or oil pipelines and also reduce the percentage of the host community fund from 10 to 7. 5 percent.

IYC described the decision as ridiculous, senseless and a spat on the face of the oil-bearing communities of the Niger-Delta region.

The group called on the leadership of the Senate to jettison the House of Representatives' version of the proposed Petroleum Industry Bill, describing the decision taken by the House as capable of igniting fresh crisis in the Niger Delta region.

IYC through its spokesman, Eric Omare, said the decision was a deliberate attempt to frustrate the implementation of the provision in the Petroleum Industry Bill, saying the provision for petroleum host community fund was not included in the PIB for the fun of it but to ameliorate the effect of oil gas operations in the host communities.

The group therefore said it totally rejects both the reduction in the oil community fund from 10 to 7.5per cent and the expansion of the meaning of oil communities.

Specifically, IYC said the definition of oil bearing communities and states in Nigeria are not in doubt, adding however that the National Assembly via the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Act Cap N86, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, has already defined oil producing communities and the states.

The group said based on these, it finds it ridiculous that the House of Representatives is now finding it difficult to define oil producing communities or giving another definition from what is already contained in the NDDC Act.

“To give another definition of oil producing communities side by side with the definition in the NDDC Act amounts to complete illegality, legislative rascality and incompetence”, IYC said.

It added: “The IYC has noted the deliberate attempts by a section of Nigeria to provoke the Niger Delta region to action at all costs. We call on Niger Deltans to be at alert as the days ahead may be rough for the region. We must resist the resolve of the enemies of the region to enslave us at all costs.

“The IYC also calls on the Senate to reject the House of Representatives version of the Petroleum Industry Bill and revert to the original provision of 10 percent for host communities which are already defined in the NDDC Act.”