Osinbajo’s directive to oil coys has rekindled hope among N/Delta youths – Ex-Militant


Beneficiaries of the Presidential Amnesty Programme under Phase 2 in Bayelsa state have again applauded Acting President Yemi Osinbanjo for directing International Oil Companies operating in the Niger-Delta region to relocate their headquarters to their operational base to mitigate tension in host communities, pointing out that the directive has brought respite to youths in host communities.

Speaking with newsmen at the weekend in Yenagoa, chairman of the Phase II Amnesty Programme beneficiaries, Hon. Salvation Ibena Rufus, who is also is a director at the Bayelsa State Environmental Sanitation Authority, commended the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu and Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Retired Brigadier General Paul Boroh, for their relentless efforts in ensuring the success of the new partnership between host communities, the federal government and multinational oil companies.

According to the ex-agitator, the youths in the region are pleased with the untiring efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari, particularly for considering host communities’ youths as active participants in the oil and gas sector through the planned establishment of modular refineries to replace the present illegal refining activities in the creeks of the Niger Delta.

He reiterated that the ongoing collaboration between the Office of the Special to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme and that of the Minister of State for Petroleum, in partnership with the state governments in the region to create job opportunities for young people in the states was unprecedented.

Hon. Rufus regretted that all the multinational oil companies operating in the region have their offices in either Lagos or Abuja, stressing further that successive governments from 1999 have not been able to achieve much in sincerely proffering solutions to the problems of the Niger Delta region.

While expressing confidence the recent pronouncements made by Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbanjo in course of his tour to states in the region, he noted that the steps so taken by the federal government would herald a new lease of life in the quest for a rapid socio-economic development of the Niger Delta region.

Hon. Rufus pointed out that the relocation of corporate headquarters of international oil companies to their operational bases in the region would foster peace, unity and rapid development, assuring that his group would work to ensure that the oil companions have hitch-free operations in the region.

It would be recalled that the Acting President gave the directive at a Town Hall meeting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital on Thursday during continuation visit to the region to dialogue with stakeholders.

He urged the Minister of State, Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu to begin the process of engaging the International Oil Companies on the way forward to actualize the directive, saying “I think it is the right thing to do”.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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