Daily Trust

Ijaw elders threaten court action over oil license

- From Abdullatee­f Aliyu, Lagos

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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