Ijaw Group backs FG’s renewed campaign against oil theft



By Nathan Nwakamma

An Ijaw group, the Movement for the Survival of Izon Ethnic Nationality (MOSIEND) on Tuesday in Yenagoa expressed support for Federal Government’s renewed campaign against oil theft.

“It is cheering news that we’d tackle illegal oil bunkering and unwholesome activities in the creeks of the Niger Delta, MOSIEND’s National President, Mr Kennedy Tonjo-West, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

He urged the Federal Government to ensure a robust community-based engagement in the course of the campaign.

“We ask for a robust community engagement and deepened discussions with relevant stakeholders. This is crucial towards achieving success.

“These steps are also fundamental to the restoration of peace, security and optimal production of petroleum in the region,’’ he said.

Tonjo-West stated that MOSIEND had already begun to sensitise the region on the need to support the campaign against illegal oil activities.

“Our advocacy is aimed at discouraging the youth from indulging in criminal activities, and to urge them to embrace peace in order to attract investments,’’ he said.

He noted that government’s move to launch a renewed campaign against oil theft was in the interest of the Niger Delta region and the nation at large.

According to him, oil theft is having a deep-seated negative effect on the nation’s economy.

He said the group took the decision to support the campaign following an assessment of the economic implication of oil theft on the nation.

Tonjo-West noted that oil theft, illegal crude oil refining and oil facility vandalism were inimical to the nation’s economy and wreaked havoc on the environment.

He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for taking decisive, pragmatic and concrete steps to salvage the nation’s economy.

In a related development, the MOSIEND leader expressed satisfaction with the court judgment that the supervision of the Niger Delta Development Commission be reverted to the Presidency.

“This will bring the era of appointment of Sole Administrators at the Commission to an end. We need the Commission to become more serious with its mandate.

“We call for immediate compliance with this judgment. It is in the interest of the region and the nation to comply,’’ Tonjo-West said. (NAN)