The Niger Delta Youth Advancement Assembly (NDYAA) has appealed to the management of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Company, (NLNG) to halt the persistent use of security operatives for intimidation and harassment of youths in the Niger Delta.
The strategic Youth group accused the NLNG of harassing youth who had largely spoken out against the company’s decision to locate NLNG Drydock in Badagry.
The leader of the group, Comrade Asinyetogha Brown, speaking to journalists on behalf of the youths, condemned in strong terms the recent development. He said latest invitation of the Leader of Bonny Youths Federation, Barr. Simeon Wilcox, President of Kalabari Youths Federation, Livingstone Membere, IYC National Secretary General, Emmanuel Bristol Alagbariya among others to the office of the State Security Service and to the office of the Rivers State Police command perfectly fits into this emerging pattern.
Comrade Brown stressed that no matter the level of intimidation or harassment, Niger delta youths will never back down on its demand to have the drydock reverted to the Niger Delta region.
According to him, the recent antics by NLNG have further proven that the company is neither moved by the significant concerns of its critical stakeholders nor bothered about the state of unemployment and abject poverty ravaging the region.
He said “We are using this medium to alert Nigerians that if anything happens to this group of youths they should know where it is coming from, but for us there is no going back because we are resolute and shall pursue this matter until we reach a logical and regionally acceptable end.”
Comrade Brown who accused the company’s policies to be anti-Niger delta, explained that the management of NLNG led by the ethnocentric Managing Director, Babs Omotowa is yet to come to terms with the fact that the headquarters of NLNG has moved from Lagos to Rivers state prompting such erratic corporate decisions against the people of the region.
He said, “Niger Delta Youth Advancement Assembly has watched with rapt attention the activities of NLNG since the appointment of Mr. Babs Omotowa as Managing Director of NLNG and has come to the conclusion that NLNG has moved from a company who supposedly should give some level of heed to its host communities to a company rather bent on subjugating and marginalizing its host communities state and region”.
“Our take on this is that NLNG should not start a war they cannot end, the Niger delta region has provided the best atmosphere the company can ask for in terms of security, providing the best atmosphere for operations to thrive as host even in the face of lack, environmental degradation and various degrees of deprivation meted out to the people
“We want NLNG to see reasons why they should heed to the call for reversion of the location from Badagry to the Niger delta region. We must also sound it loud and clear that the Niger delta youths have the right to a peaceful gathering, including agitations against unacceptable corporate decisions against the people that bear the consequences of their gas activities” he was quoted as saying.
Brown added that Niger delta youths are glad that instead of weakening their resolve and enthusiasm orchestrated by these emerging NLNG actions it has further galvanized them to be more determined to fight for their right.