Niger Delta Youths, under the auspices of Anioma Youth Forum Worldwide, have stated that the recent signing of the Petroleum Industry Bill into law may spark new unrest in the region, calling it as an aberration to the oil-rich region.
This comes as the Defence Headquarters stated that the military was prepared to prevent a breakdown in law and order in the region.
After more than 20 years of turmoil, President Buhari signed the PIB into law on Monday.
However, the forum’s National President, Nnamdi Ofonye, said that the Federal Government’s inaction could spark a new agitation.
He said, “We will collectively take a stand in our meeting today (Sunday). In as much as the eventual signing of the bill into law is one that all of Niger Delta has been craving, unfortunately, it didn’t turn out to be what we expected.
“The three per cent is still a far cry from what we thought, and this goes to show that our representatives do not take our plight to heart because if the bill that was just signed was presented for the general well-being of the people, it wouldn’t have generated controversy.
“If the generality of the Niger Delta is against the bill, I see no reason why our lawmakers did not stop it at the National Assembly. This is what we always got because when we ask for the constituency briefing, they don’t see it as anything but a waste of time.
“We have cried to them about what we want but most of them went to support the bill against the wishes of the people. They have failed us.
“The Niger Delta will renew its agitation. In fact, there have been some threats in some quarters. But we, the youth of the Niger Delta, are networking and speaking among ourselves to know what next to do.
“I do not want to pre-empt any group now, but currently, we are all planning to meet to review the so-called law. So far so good, the law has not gone down well with the youth of the Niger Delta. We will make our position known soon.”
However, the Director of Defence Information, Major General Benjamin Sawyerr, in an interview advised anyone aggrieved with the law to seek means other than violence to seek redress.
He added “The military is ready at all times to address the issue of security concerns. We have all it takes to ensure that the peace and stability enjoyed in the Niger Delta remains and keep everyone secured.
“I believe they will resolve whatever their grievances are and it won’t degenerate into any crisis. However, we are always prepared to ensure there is peace in every nook and cranny of the country.”
He nevertheless warned that the military would not allow anyone to interrupt the peace being enjoyed by the people of the region over the signing of the PIB into law by the President.