National News Oil & Gas

Why we’re against AKK pipeline project – Ijaw elders in diaspora

…We need $4bn to ameliorate destructions on Ijaw land

By Ebi Perekeme

Even as Nigerians celebrate the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari led government on the commencement of the Ajaokuta–Kaduna–Kano (AKK) Pipeline Project, the Ijaw National Congress and Bayelsa Center in United States, has kicked against the project.

This is coming even as the group disclosed that the project will create short-term and long-term risks to underground sources of drinking water.

The group also noted that an investment of at least $4bn is needed to ameliorate the destruction created by crude oil spill on the Ijaw Land in the last 60 years.

In a statement to GbaramatuVoice by the group founder, Prof. Mondy Gold, titled: ‘Global Opposition to Ajaokuta–Kaduna–Kano (AKK) Pipeline Project’, it stated that the global Ijaw community is unequivocally against the AKK Pipeline Project.

The statement reads: “This is because there will be more air pollution problems and degradation of water quality in rivers and streams of the Niger Delta, especially in the Ijaw Land. This project will also create short-term and long-term risks to underground sources of drinking water.

“It is on record that more than 10 million barrels of oil have been spilled in the Niger Delta over the past 60 years. We are no longer prepared to deal with the constant risk of accidents, spills, explosions, diseases, and deaths.

“We have enough pipelines in our communities without commensurate economic value or impact. Sadly, the only visible ‘impact’ is pollution and more pollution of land and waterways.

“There is no mention of the construction of railroads in the Niger Delta. No mention of re-injection of the gas being flared. No mention of piping and distribution of gas in the Niger Delta for industrial and domestic purposes.

“No mention of the construction of a coastal road network to alleviate the transportation challenges of the Ijaw people. No mention of reviving the seaports and refineries long abandoned. The list is endless. The people of the Ijaw ethnic nationality in the Niger Delta have been taken for granted for too long and this must stop NOW!

“We will not accept more vague plans and empty promises. We need more investment of at least $4bn to ameliorate the destruction of the Ijaw Land in the last 60 years. More pipelines simply mean more environmental degradation and more public health problems for the local communities. The Ajaokuta–Kaduna–Kano (AKK) Pipeline Project is designed to benefit only the unduly privileged section of Nigeria and this must stop NOW!

“We wish to inform the Federal Government and multinational companies, including international oil companies that gas pipelines are not the energy infrastructure that the Ijaw people, Niger Delta, or Nigeria needs if it is to build a clean energy future and interested in sustaining the peace and stability in Ijaw Land.

“We are against this poorly conceived and overly ambitious pipeline project. We will no longer accept a second-class citizens status in our own country where we are the proverbial golden goose. Enough of the mistreatment and mismanagement. Enough of the criminality, disdain and impunity.”

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