Ijaw caucus Reps raise alarm over alleged hijack of oil-producing lands in Akwa Ibom

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By Ochogwu Sunday

Members of the Ijaw Caucus in the 10th House of Representatives have solicited the federal government’s intervention over the alleged hijack of oil-producing ancestral lands in Akwa Ibom State.

The Caucus alleged that oil-producing lands belonging to the Ijaw tribe in Akwa Ibom State were mapped out without due process.

The lawmakers said the development followed a local government re-mapping, conducted in the state recently, which they claimed was “against all regulations and requirements” and an attempt to take the land belonging to the Ijaw nation”.

Awaji-Inombek Abiante (PDP-Rivers) who spoke on behalf of the caucus during a press briefing at the National Assembly complex, Abuja, disclosed that the caucus had on Wednesday laid a petition on the floor of the House with a view to addressing the crisis.

He said: “This briefing is centred on the alleged re-mapping of Local Government Areas in Akwa Ibom State.

“This action was allegedly conducted within a few days of the exit of the immediate past Governor against all regulations and all requirements attempting to take the land belonging to the Ijaw Nation.

“Probably our thinking is that with the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act, persons who do have any bearing with the oil exploration within the State, want to seize part of the land so that it would qualify them as host communities.

“We are not bothered, we are not worried. The fact that bulk of the resources accruing to Akwa Ibom State is derivable from the oil within the local government areas of the Ijaw Nation. Eastern Obolo, Ibeno and Mbo local government areas are the local government areas that we know are oil producing.

“We have come with the aspirations, the desires, the pains and the cries of our people to say no, this should not be, given the Ijaws in Akwa Ibom State could be in the minority in the state”.

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