Many Causalities In Akwa Ibom As Youths Demand 5 Per Cent Of Oil Derivation Cash
Angry youths of the nine states of the Niger Delta region resident in the 31 Local Government Areas of Akwa Ibom State on Tuesday, stormed the Government House, Uyo, the state capital, demanding a share of five per cent of the total 13 per cent oil derivation cash allocation to states in the region.
The peaceful protest Reported turned bloody, as the protesters approached the government house along Willington Bassey Way and an attempt by the security men at the gate to stop them from entering the government house proved abortive.
It was at that point the Policemen standing guard at the Uyo Police Area Command, near the Government House, launched several canisters of tear – gas, leading to a stampede with scores sustaining different degrees of injuries in the melee.
In apparent anticipation of reprisal attack by the angry youths under the aegis of the Ibom Youths Congress (IYC), most of them clad in white and black attires led by their militant leaders, the Police called for a re-enforcement of a Joint Task Force (JTF) comprising Soldiers, Nigeria Security Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) and the Police personally led by the Commissioner of Police (CP), Olatoye Durosinmi.
Our Correspondent learnt it took the JTF team a hectic time to dislodge the group from the Wellington Bassey Way end of the Government to the Ibom Plaza roundabout, where they ventilated their grievances.
Speaking to journalists, one of the leaders, Comrade Victor Bassey James, Secretary of the Niger Delta Movement (NDM), said: “We have suffered a lot; our youths have not been empowered. That is why we’ve come en masse to make sure that the Governor looks into our matter.
“We are asking for five per cent out of the 13 per cent oil derivation. And they have said they would call us for dialogue. But failure to do that we will take another step,” he stressed.
While suing for peace, CP Durosinmi; the Commander of the 2 Brigade of the Nigeria Army, his NSCDC counterpart and the Commissioner in charge of Internal Security in the state, and other concerned authorities appealed for calm, urging them to retire home, assuring that Governor Uno Eno would address their grievances at the appropriate time.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr Odiko MacDon, explained that the teargas incident was borne out of the need to stop hoodlums trying to invade the Government House from taking the laws into their own hands.
According to him, “Well the truth of the matter is that they were addressed by the Commissioner of Police; the Commander 2 Brigade, and other sister agencies on the need to be peaceful.
“They were also addressed by the Commissioner for Internal Security, but they insisted that they have to access the Government House. That is why a commensurate force was used to disperse them. They have dispersed peacefully so there’s no cause for alarm”.