Troops deployment, not solution to vandalism in N’Delta – IYC
The umbrella body of Ijaw youths, the Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide, has faulted the Federal Government’s decision to send more troops to the Niger Delta to protect oil installations in the region.
Rather, the IYC rationalised that the incidence of oil theft, kidnapping, pipeline vandalism and other criminalities had been on the increase despite the presence of the military and other security agents around oil installations and communities.
The IYC, in a statement on Thursday by its spokesman, Eric Omare, said they had always maintained that in some cases, security agents, contractors and even oil company workers were complicit in the illegalities going on in the region.
Omare said, “The Federal Government cannot claim ignorance of these facts with the security apparatus at its disposal.
” Instead of sending more troops who would come and commit more inconveniences to the people of the region such as intimidation, harassment of innocent villagers and unnecessary arrests, we call for quality intelligence gathering on the role of oil companies’ workers, contractors and security agents on the attacks on oil facilities.”
The spokesman said the solution to the problem of attacks on oil facilities lied with constructive engagement of the people and communities of the region where oil facilities are located.
He insisted that the solution was not to send all the soldiers in the country to the region as sending more soldiers would only complicate the already complex situation.
Omare added, “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.