Daily Trust

Ijaw elders threaten court ac­tion over oil li­cense

- From Ab­dul­la­teef Aliyu, La­gos Nigeria News · Politics · Mining · Industries · Indian and Northern Affairs Canada · Nigeria · U.S. government · Oil and Gas Mining · Federal Government of Nigeria

Fol­low­ing the fed­eral govern­ment’s re­fusal to re­spond to its de­mand for a stay of ac­tion on the 2020 mar­ginal field bid, Ijaw Elders’ Fo­rum has threat­ened to go to court to chal­lenge the bid­ding process.

The fo­rum had de­manded the stop­page of the bid­ding process pend­ing the de­ter­mi­na­tion of “some con­tentious is­sues.”

They stressed the need to con­sider the plight of the oil-pro­duc­ing com­mu­ni­ties, say­ing it could no longer con­tinue to watch its peo­ple de­hu­man­ised, ex­ploited, hu­mil­i­ated and dis­crim­i­nated against through the auc­tion­ing of ex­plo­ration li­censes.

The fo­rum lamented that oil ex­plo­ration and drilling ac­tiv­i­ties had ac­counted for the de­clin­ing eco­nomic pro­duc­tiv­ity of the Ijaw na­tion with the at­ten­dant air and wa­ter pol­lu­tion, the fre­quent out­break of pan­demic, deaths, and en­vi­ron­men­tal de­struc­tion.

Their po­si­tion was con­tained in a let­ter writ­ten by GI&0 Le­gal Prac­ti­tion­ers and No­taries Pub­lic on be­half of the group and ad­dressed to the of­fice of the Min­is­ter of Petroleum through the Min­is­ter of State.

The let­ter read in part: “We do not think that our client had asked for too much when they urged the Fed­eral Govern­ment of Nige­ria to, for the sake of lives and property of its cit­i­zens which the head of the govern­ment had sworn to pro­tect, halt the 2020 mar­ginal field bid round un­til steps are taken to ad­dress some very ba­sic and salient is­sues which in­clude re­me­di­a­tion of the en­vi­ron­ment of oil-pro­duc­ing com­mu­ni­ties, com­pen­sa­tion for dam­ages al­ready done to the peo­ple and com­mu­ni­ties and to en­sure safety in oil ex­plo­ration ac­tiv­i­ties and pro­tec­tion of oil-bear­ing com­mu­ni­ties.”

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