From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Ijaw Youths from across Niger Delta region have reversed its decision on the total rejection of the three per cent provisions to host communities in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Ijaw youths had earlier rejected the law and declared President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of State for Petroluem, Timipre Sylva persona non grata in the region.
However the Ijaw youths under the aegis of Ijaw Youth Council(IYC) said they have accepted the PIA as signed into law but called for a review of the composition of the Host Communities Development Trust (HCDT) under the Act.
IYC in a statement signed by its national spokesman, Mr Ebilade Ekerefe, said the decision to accept the provisions of the PIA was taken after several deliberations with stakeholders including political leaders, youth, women and civil society groups.
It pointed out that after a detailed study of chapter 3 on the set up of the Host Community Trust in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), there was no specification on the inclusion of key stakeholders from each host communities in the composition of the Development trust.
IYC reiterated that its call for a town hall interactive session with Sylva is not out of place and hopes that he will heed to the calls to meet with key stakeholders in the region for a detailed understanding of the provisions of the PIA.
. The statement read in part: “The IYC is calling for a review of the composition and management of the Host Community Trust to include representatives of the State Government, the Local Government, the Youth and Women from the host communities. “
“The importance of the inclusion of these stakeholders cannot be over emphasized. The States and Local Governments have played a major role in ensuring peace in the region that was not breached. They have served as Chief Security officers of their domain and worked with the youths, women and traditional rulers to sustain the existing peace in the host communities and outside. Their inclusion will further deepen the peace and lead to pragmatic development of the host communities.”
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