By Sunny Edemenang – Uyo
Youths of Oro ethnic group have made a case for the immediate recognition of all the five local government areas of Oron, Mbo, Udung Uko, Okobo and Urueoffong Oruko local government areas, among oil Producing host communities in Akwa Ibom State.
The youths under the aegis of Oro Youths gave the state government and the international oil companies (IOCs) 14 days within which to recognize the five council areas as oil producing and host communities in the state.
Thousands of youths brandishing placards In a peaceful protest on Monday in Oron, blocking all major entrances to Oron Federal Constituency and vowed not to tolerate marginalization of the area any longer.
The youths threatened to shut down oil exploration activities in the area if the IOCs and Akwa Ibom State do not initiate discussions on how to correct the injustice done to the Oro ethnic group with regard to giving the area all benefits and privileges which accrue to oil producing communities in the State.
The spokesperson of the youths, Omen Bassey, said it was unfortunate that the 5 local government areas of Oron Federal constituency play host to at least 8 oil producing companies but have not been gazetted as oil producing communities.
There are more than eight oil producing companies operating in the five local government areas that make up Oron Federal Constituency.
The youth leader disclosed that Mobil has been here for 15 years now yet we have not been recognized as oil producing communities, reasoning
that it is very painful that we have resources in our land which contribute to the wealth of the state and nation as a whole but we are languishing in poverty, joblessness and environmental degradation.
To add to the importance of this demand, these communities also play host to the Ibom Deep Seaport, located in the area.
In a communique read by the convener of the protest, Lovestic Esu, the group demanded that the resolution of the National Assembly and the National Executive Council recognizing Oron Federal constituency as an oil producing area must be obeyed.
The communique reads in part, “That we are using this medium to call on the Federal Government of Nigeria, Akwa Ibom state government, and multinational oil companies operating on our shores to implement the resolutions reached by the National Assembly (NASS) and the National Executive Council (NEC) immediately.
“That failure to do this will compel us to mobilize and lead the entire Oro Nation globally to Aso Rock, the National Assembly, the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly and Government House, Uyo”, they concluded.