The Rivers State host community under the umbrella of Ikwerre People’s Congress (IPC) Worldwide has declared outright rejection of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) recently passed by the National Assembly because it typifies nothing worthy of celebration.
The group insisted that the Niger Delta region wants 100 percent ownership rights of the proceeds from oil and gas.
It took the decision in a statement issued, yesterday, and signed by Livingstone Wechie, IPC Worldwide; Innocent Okocha, vice chairman; Stanley Worgu, general secretary; and Bright Chukwumati, director, IPC diaspora.
“Ikwerre and other ethnic nationalities in the Niger Delta are the only producers of oil and gas in Nigeria from where the Nigerian state survives economically and so, have the authority to speak for themselves,” they said.
According to the group, the PIB, as structured, was no doubt, in furtherance to the continuous asset stripping of their natural resources as a people and as a region by the Nigerian government.
It added that the Federal Government’s passage of the bill was an indication of a continued ploy to occupy and possess Niger Delta resources through coercive means and illegitimate instruments without the people’s voluntary consent.
The IPC berated the National Assembly members of the Niger Delta extraction, who allowed themselves to partake in what they called injustice without staging a walkout, as a disgrace and enemies of the region.
The Ikwerre group declared that the three percent proceeds of the resources from the Niger Delta region to host communities, was ridiculous and insulting.
The group said: “The most ridiculous and insulting allocation of three percent proceeds to host communities truly defines the unjust and repressive posture of the Federal Government which continues to undermine minority rights in this country.
“It continues to be that as long as Nigeria continues to unitarily sequester our assets without allowing the ancestral owners of land and natural resources to determine their economic future as of right in the principle of federalism as is applicable all over the world, the economic injustice meted on our people will naturally continue to breed instability.
“It is unfortunate that the value of oil and gas for host communities in the eyes of government is rated at three percent while the Federal Government that has no legitimate rights ab initio over the resources will keep the rest hidden under veiled technical arrangements.
“This is more horrendous given the fact that the said host communities have been left to their fate to grapple with environmental degradation that has denied them livelihood. The danger ahead is that as the world transits into alternative energy, Niger Delta, stripped of livelihood, stands as the biggest loser because its environment is criminally destroyed with the Federal Government looking the other way,” the group said.
The IPC maintained that the Federal Government has capacity to do the needful in the interest of justice, although it and certain extremists have wistfully laid claim to Niger Delta oil and gas assets.