• Saturday, June 15, 2024
businessday logo


Rivers youths move against pipeline vandalism, cultism


Violence and destruction of the live wire of the Nigerian economy may not be the wish of majority of youths in the Niger Delta region after all.

This is as hundreds of youths in Rivers State on Tuesday took to the streets of Port Harcourt in protest against what they termed incessant attacks on oil facilities in the region.

The youths who came together on the platform of National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Rivers State branch, also protested against cultism and other social vices in the state including the wanton killings that now take place daily.

The youths said they were saddened over the reign of cultism and its related activities, attacks oil facilities and oil theft which are now on the increase in the region. The youths who said they were aggrieved over incessant criminal activities in the state marched from First Artillery zone to Azikiwe Road in Port Harcourt.

They bore placards screaming their grievances such as: ‘We need peace in the Niger Delta’; ‘Attacks on oil facilities must stop’; ‘Support Belema Oil to restore peace in the region’; ‘We don’t need cultism’.

Speaking at the protest, the president of NYCN in Rivers State, Sukubo Sara-Igbe, disclosed that the campaign was targeted at the rise in the cases of kidnapping and other criminal activities in the state.
Sara-Igbe said the activities of vandals were affecting the economic wellbeing of the region, calling on aggrieved youths not to resort to destroying pipelines and other oil facilities.

Sara-Igbe, while thanking Belema oil for providing 520 jobs for youths in the state, warned youths to desist from cultism, pipeline vandalism and every other activity that would threaten peace in the area.

He said: “We thank the Federal Government for giving a Niger Delta son the opportunity of operating Belema Oil. We also thank the governor for creating an enabling environment for the company to operate smoothly in Rivers State.”

The president said the Rivers people were now celebrating Belema Oil for jobs it created for over 520 youths. “But we are not happy that youths are involved in destroying critical infrastructural facilities in the region. We kick against vandalism and cultism in the entire Niger Delta region”.

He said the youths were protesting so that youths would see the need to shun armed robbery and oil theft but embrace peace so that investors could come in and invest in the state and in the region.  “Rivers youths are now on their feet to protect those investors that will come into the state. We do not want our youths to be disturbing investors. If the FG will release more oil blocks to the Niger Delta people who are good to put to rest the continuous agitation in the area”.