Ijaw youths demand oil and gas colony

Youths from Ijaw extraction in the nine states of the Niger Delta have condemned the killings across the country by suspected Fulani herdsmen, calling on the federal and state governments to end the killings.

The youth, under the auspices of the Niger Delta Youth Leadership Forum, also demanded the establishment of oil and gas colony for the region against the backdrop of plans by the Federal Government to establish cattle colony for the herdsmen.

The group’s National President, Richard Akinaka, stated these during a press conference heralding the inauguration of the Bayelsa State chapter of the group in Yenagoa on Saturday.

He said establishing colonies for herdsmen was wrong, adding that it was the duty of herdsmen as private business owners to be responsible for the progress of their business interests.

Akinaka said, “As a people, we have taken that position that herdsmen are private businesspeople.

“If herdsmen want land and spaces to do their business, they should acquire them within any of the states and do their business. It is the way it is done elsewhere all over the world where you have people acquire ranches for their cattle and people go there to buy cattle for consumption purposes.

“That is the best thing to do. Government does not need to buy land for a private businessman. But if that is what the government wants to do, we are asking for oil and gas colony for our people too.

“We should be given extra reserve right to take full responsibility of our oil and gas industry because that is our area, that is our environment. We suffer environmental problems.’’

He advised members of the Niger Delta Avengers to always engage in intellectual struggle in advancing their agitations rather than resorting to old-fashioned idea of armed struggle.

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