A group known as Pan Niger Delta Youth Leadership Forum has vowed to resist the concessioning of Port Harcourt and Warri Refineries to Oando and MRS by the Federal Government.
The group, which made this known while on a peaceful protest to the zonal head-office of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, at Moscow Road, Port Harcourt, said companies owned by people from the Niger Delta should be allowed to participate in the processand possibly given the right of first refusal.
The protesters numbered over 1,000, including men and women with banners and placards bearing different inscriptions such as, “Why leaving out Kaduna refinery?”, “We say no to concessioning of PH/Warri refineries”, “Ibe Kachikwu, we have capacity for modular refineries”, “Agip/Oando/MRS stay off PH/Warri refineries”, “Niger Delta issues, stop selective engagement of leaders, everybody is important”, amongst others.
National President of the group and leader of the protest, Mr. Famous Daunimeghe, while addressing the representative of Zonal Manager of NNPC, said youth groups in the region have unanimously decided to resist the concession of the two refineries until the rights of the Niger Delta people are protected within the ambit of the law.
Daunimeghe also warned that the Kaduna refinery should be part of the concessioning process, if not, none of the refineries in the Niger Delta should be concessioned.
He said: “We are miffed and aghast at the plans of your organisation to concession the Port Harcourt and Warri refineries to Oando and MRS.
“Given that due process was not followed and the people of the Niger Delta were neither consulted nor carried along in the process, we deem this an act of extreme provocation and with all due respect, we seek to inform you and the Federal Government that we have resolved as a people to resist these transactions that were illegal and unconscionably consummated without any input or due consultations and considerations of our people and the owners of the land that the refineries are sited.
“We want to make it clear that, unlike what happened in the ugly past when oil blocs in the Niger Delta were secretly auctioned to largely persons that are not from the region, if refineries must be concessioned, it should be done transparently.”
Also speaking, the spokesperson for the group, Mr. Morris Idiovwa, disagreed with a comment credited to the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, that the Niger Delta people do not have the capacity to set up modular refineries.
Idiovwa warned the minister that the Niger Delta people do not only have the capacity to set up modular refineries, but also have the capacity to stop oil production in the region.topics from