ABUJA, Nigeria – A member representing Southern Ijaw Federal Constituency of Bayelsa State, Hon. Preye Oseke Influence Goodluck has said Thursday’s brawl at the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) public hearing was caused by agelong frustration among host communities.
Host communities leaders engaged in a fight on Thursday at the PIB public hearing over a clash of interests that bothers on a provision in the proposed bill.
Speaking on his view on the development as a federal lawmaker from the Niger Delta on Friday, Goodluck explained that the fight was sparked by factions of host communities because of frustration among them over the years.
He said: “It depends on how you look at it. I believe that what happened at the public hearing is the demonstration of anger and frustration as exhibited by the fight you experience thereby some factional head of the group called host community representation.
“It’s more like the manifestation of the anger that the people are expressing based on a long time of suffering.”
He lamented that host communities in the Niger Delta were abandoned to scorn over the years by oil companies and the Federal government.
The lawmaker stressed that interventions which were put in place by the government, least addressed the plight of Niger Deltans, noting that what they were quarrelling about were already existing.
“We have a situation where people tend to throw up the various interventions that are already existing. Issues of 13 percent derivation, 2%, being paid to NDDC, you also have 1 percent going to local content.
According to him, elites share part of the environmental woes in the Niger Delta, noting that they have hijacked these interventions and are not getting to the targeted communities to assuage their suffering.
“I can’t condemn what happened on Thursday at the public hearing. It may not portend well for the people, but I am saying that the people have suffered for so long, the anger is borne out of the fact that the elites have hijacked the opportunities that are supposed to go to the communities.