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Group demands Timi Sylva’s resignation, over insecurity remarks in Niger Delta region

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Following a remark by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timi Sylva that International Oil Companies (IoC) cannot relocate their headquarters to the Lower Niger region for security reasons, an ethnic group, Ikwerre People’s Congress (IPC) has demanded for his resignation from office.

The group condemned Sylva’s comment which he made over the weekend at an event, describing it as spurious coming from a man who was raised by the region he now betrays.

In a statement which was signed by the Convener, Livingstone Wechie and sent to CAPITAL POST in Abuja on Tuesday, the group noted that Sylva’s betrayal of his own land would embolden International Oil Companies to further exploit the land and the people, insisting that he should resign from office.

Part of the statement reads: “Whereas, we distance our raped region from the bad light that the Minister is delightedly and selfishly portraying her, we demand not only the immediate relocation of the IOCs Administrative Headquarters to our land, but further demand an immediate retraction of these vexatious remarks by him followed by an unreserved apology to the entire region or he should immediately resign his appointment as Minister for Petroleum (State) or be sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari.

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“Sylva’s resignation or sack should be without any further delay, failure to which the rest of the region should quickly speak up and mobilize for his removal from office.

“IPC views the comments by Mr. Sylva as a plot to undermine the Ikwerre ethnic nation which has made the highest contribution in the region to the rest of the country playing host to countless federal government establishments including military formations, educational and most of the International Multinational organisations with the highest contributions of Oil and Gas to Nigeria and the world.

“The Minister who has now desperately turned himself to an enemy of our people is cautioned to stop sabotaging the federal government’s painstaking effort in ensuring stability in the region by his ostrich game through which he believes he is pleasing his self serving masters.”

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“Ikwerre People’s Congress IPC condems the spurious and puerile representations made by the Minister of Petroleum (State) Mr. Timipre Sylva.

The Minister had over the weekend posited that the International Multinational Oil Companies cannot relocate their headquarters to the Lower Niger region, saying the region is not peaceful, unsafe and insecure.

He made the remark in Abuja when the Niger Delta Nonviolence Agitators Forum NDNAF invested him as its patron and peace ambassador.

IPC further pointed out that: “For the avoidance of doubt, as at today, our region which is the only hope for Nigerias economic survival is the safest place in Nigeria and most investment friendly part of the Country.

“It is non the less curious, and most insulting that the region can only be regarded safe for Oil and Gas production and operations accruing unaccounted billions of Dollars to the federation account and to foreign home states of the International Multinational Oil Companies IOCs with nothing to show for it except for environmental destruction, blood and oil spill masterminded by the IOCs and some agents, yet the region is not deserving to host the IOCs Administrative Headquarters.

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“The facts are visible to the blind that if at all there is any form of insecurity in the region, it is only because of the injustices meted on the people by the IOCs and some of their government agents who sabotage all our laws including the Local Content Act which these IOCs grossly breach with disdain and impunity against the Nigerian state.

“These injustices include the unjustified citing of their administrative headquarters outside the region which gives external forces the room to manipulate and control the employment and empowerment opportunities to the exclusion of the host Communities.”

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