•Says the development is a slap on the faces of Niger Delta people.
By Hannah Nathan, Warri
Mixed reactions as the most oil-producing Niger Delta region has been left out again in the award of pipeline maintenance contract by the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited, led by Mele Kyari, just as the minister of Niger Delta Affairs was given to a northern.
Anger has brewed as NNPCL chose the Northern region in the award of pipeline maintenance contract and neglected the Niger Delta region, following a threat of showdown by aggrieved youths in the region.
According to a statement signed by frontline Niger Delta activist Comrade Daniel Ezekiel, it was a slap on the faces of Niger Delta people for Northerners to preside over pipeline maintenance in the Niger Delta region.
He asked a critical question and it stated, “If truly justice is the foundation for a peaceful society, why is it that the Nigerian state finds it hard to practice it?”
According to the report, it was alleged that Mele Kyari-led NNPCL is about awarding pipeline maintenance contracts across Niger Delta to Northerners, a development that is greeted with repulsive forces.
However, the report was affirmed as four companies owned by Northerners were given offers to maintain pipelines in Niger Delta communities.
Reacting to the development, Daniel Ezekiel said the award of the Niger Delta pipeline maintenance contract to Northerners is a great insult to the sensibility of the Niger Delta people.
The statement reads, “Yes, Northerners are Nigerians with the right to bid and do job in any part of the country.
The aspect that is creating tension in the whole gamut is the perceived disregard for local content by NNPCL in awarding this job. The NNPCL C.E.O, Mele Kyari is telling us that there are no capable hands among millions of people in the region that can handle the job to his satisfaction and that he has to bring in his brothers from far North,” he queried.
“People keep talking about insecurity in Niger Delta, it is so unfortunate that this is one of the key reasons why it will be difficult to eradicate crime in the region because job opportunities that would have gotten the youths busy are given to outsiders, who will take whatever comes into their pockets back to their respective states, leaving operational host communities vulnerable, this we find very unacceptable and condemned in the strong term.
“In as much as we preach peace in our communities, policymakers should always take into account the feelings of the people of the region, before dishing out jobs, which sons and daughters of Niger Delta can do.
“Finally speaking, for the sake of peace and equity, let companies from the Niger Delta region be considered for the award of the pipeline maintenance contract to calm fray nerves,” he added.