Pipeline Security: Ilaje Youths Protest Non Inclusion

Ilaje youths in their hundreds, on Wednesday, protested their non inclusion in the pipeline security and protection contract released to the oil producing states of the Niger Delta by the Federal Government.

The peaceful protest, which held at ‘Agbala Afin’ in the Kofawe area of Igbokoda, had youths from Ugbo, Aheri, Mahin and Etikan in attendance.

While singing solidarity songs and brandishing leaves to show their displeasure at how Ilaje community has been short changed in the pipeline security contract, the youths had placards that showed inscriptions such as: “We say no to empowerment politics,” “Ilaje makes Ondo State the oil producing state that it is,” and “ Where is our pipeline security contract in Ilaje?” Other inscription like “If FG denies us our right, we shall deny them our votes,” “No empowerment, no election in Ilaje” were also boldly showcased by the irate protesters.

General Timi Ogundere, youth leader and former Niger Delta militant of the Ilaje extraction, berated the Federal Government for committing such a costly oversight. In a voice laden with anger and disappointment, he condemned a situation where Ilaje will produce the oil and when it comes to empowerment, the Ijaws of Ese – Odo will be the sole beneficiary.

He said Federal Government should not start another round of Ilaje / Ijaw crisis by giving to Ijaws what rightly belong to Ilaje nation. “We are using the medium of this protest to tell President Jonathan that if he wants our votes in the coming general election, he should provide us with our own slot of the pipeline security contract,” Ogundere said.

It will be recalled that the President Goodluck Jonathan led Federal Government has just released a N9bn worth of pipeline security contract to the oil producing states of Nigeria, out of which Ondo State is one on the basis of large deposit of oil in the coastal waters of Ilaje in the south senatorial district of the state.

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