N’Delta Crisis: Host Oil Communities Want Pipelines Surveillance Jobs for Locals

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Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa

To rid the Niger Delta of the crisis it is currently embroiled in, some oil-producing communities in the region on Wednesday called for the award of pipelines surveillance jobs for people living in the area.

The leadership of the Host Communities of Nigeria (HOSCON), a coalition of leaders from the areas from which the federal government gets most of its oil revenues, noted that implementing the idea as a matter of policy would help douse the tension in the region and create jobs for the restive youths.

HOSCON, led by Dr Mike Emuh, also called for the dredging of the Excravos Bar in Delta state to open up the major seaports in the area and decongest the Apapa seaport in Lagos.

While commending the recent appointments by President Muhammadu Buhari into the Peace Committee set up to interface with the Niger Delta militants and the Ogoni Clean-up Committee, the communities urged the agitators to sheathe their swords.

“We request the Federal Government to urgently consider the award of a contract for the dredging of Escravos Bar to allow for a full usage of the four moribund seaports of Burutu, Warri, Sapele and Koko as this is capable of decongesting the over-congested Apapa Seaport in Lagos.

“We also use this medium to appeal to Mr. President to direct the necessary government agencies to urgently award the pipeline surveillance contract through the Host Communities of Nigeria as the de-facto landlords of these areas where the pipelines are situated”, the communities noted.

HOSCON, comprising traditional rulers, national leaders, women groups and youth groups in the Oil and Gas Producing States of Nigeria, also lauded the selection of persons in the region to oversee the peace process and the cleaning up of Ogoni in Rivers state.

The appointments are those of King Alfred Papapreye Diete-Spiff, former Military Governor of old Rivers State as Chairman of Niger Delta Peace Dialogue; Chief Wellington Okirika, Bolowei of Gbaramatu as Member representing Delta State on the Dialogue group and Dr. Mike Emuh as Member, Board of Trustees of the Ogoni Clean-up Committee.

A statement by HOSCON’s Director, Media and Publicity, Mr Monday Whiskey, described the selections as ‘credible’, noting that dialogue remains the most suitable option for dealing with the Niger Delta crisis.

“We commend the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, General Muhammadu Buhari, for the appointment of three (3) of our notable leaders into National positions in the last one week.

“These are not only well thought-out appointments but a clear indication by Mr. President that dialogue remains the best option in enhancing a greater peace process in the Niger Delta region,” the statement said.

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