Pipeline Vandalism: Ijaw Youths Slam Deployment Of Troops To N’Delta | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Pipeline Vandalism: Ijaw Youths Slam Deployment Of Troops To N’Delta

Posted: Feb 18, 2016 at 7:18 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Igoniko Oduma, Yenagoa

Ijaw youths, under the auspices of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), have condemned the decision of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to deploy more troops to protect oil facilities and assets in the Niger Delta, following recent incidents of sabotage, pipeline vandalism and other vices.
The IYC, in a statement issued by its spokesman, Eric Omare, on Thursday, February 18, 2016, declared that experience had shown that military deployment was not the solution to the challenge of attacks on oil facilities in the region.
“It is a matter of common knowledge that incidents of oil theft, kidnapping and attacks on oil pipelines have been on the increase despite the presence of military men around oil installations and communities in the Niger Delta region,” the statement said.
The body reiterated its earlier position that some security agents, contractors and oil company workers were accomplices in most of the oil-related illegalities  in the region.
IYC stated that sending more soldiers would lead to more inconvenience, intimidation, harassment and indiscriminate arrest of innocent Niger Delta people as had been the situation over the years.
It called for better intelligence on the activities of workers in multi-national oil companies, contractors and security personnel regarding attacks on pipelines.
“Ultimately, the solution to the problem of attacks on oil facilities lies is in constructively engaging the people and communities of the Niger Delta where oil facilities are located.
“The solution is not to send all the soldiers in the country to the region, as sending more soldiers would only complicate the already complex situation. There should be an incentive-based legal framework to make the communities where oil facilities are located stakeholders in the oil produced in their communities.
“This would give them a sense of belonging to protect the oil facilities in their communities,” IYC said.