Ijaw group urges FG to return Bayelsa’s seized oilfields

An Ijaw advocacy group, Movement for the Survival of the Ijaw Ethnic Nationality of the Niger Delta, has called on the Federal Government to release the seized marginal oil field that gave the state the right to an oil prospecting licence (OPL) between 2003 and 2007.

MOSIEND made the call on Tuesday in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, during the inauguration of some additional members of its National Executive Officer as well as its clan leaders comprising all Ijaw extraction living in the Niger Delta states.

Speaking at the event, MOSIEND President, Mr Kenneth Tonjo-West, berated the Federal Government for revoking the licence formerly given to the oil rich homogeneous Ijaw state for no verifiable reasons.

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The group warned the Federal Government through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and its subsidiaries in charge of awarding OPLs of untoward consequences if it failed to return the said field to the state within 30 days.

MOSIEND argued that their call for the return of the oil field to the state became necessary as the Ijaw, who produce the nation’s economic mainstay, had borne the brunt of oppression and marginalisation for more than 50 years.

He said since the discovery of oil in commercial quantities in Ijaw land, there had not been commensurate development in their communities across the states of the Niger Delta.

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He said, “We are not happy with the recent directives by the Central Bank of Nigeria to some Northern states to mine and sell the gold found in their respective states.

“That is another reason for the Ijaw in particular and by extension the Niger Delta region, to start controlling their natural resources.”

Meanwhile, the pioneer President of MOSIEND, who also doubles as the incumbent Chairman of its elders council, Timi Ogoriba, has lambasted the Federal Government for what he described as systematic sustenance of marginalisation of the Ijaw nation and the Niger Delta region.

Ogoriba said that in the nearest future, the Federal Government would see the unity of the Ijaw people and other Niger Delta groups against its oppressive and subjugating tendencies through formation of stronger synergy.

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