Ijaw elders threaten court action over oil license
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.”