Posted by By Samuel Oyadongha & Emma Amaize on
GOVERNOR Diepreye Alamieyeseigha of Bayelsa State directed, yesterday, youths holding two Germans and four Nigerians oil workers to release them forthwith. He has already dispatched to the Ekeremor local government area a high powered team of legislators and commissioners to hold talks with the abductors.
YENAGOA — GOVERNOR Diepreye Alamieyeseigha of Bayelsa State directed, yesterday, youths holding two Germans and four Nigerians oil workers to release them forthwith. He has already dispatched to the Ekeremor local government area a high powered team of legislators and commissioners to hold talks with the abductors.
The oil workers on the payroll of B+B Oil Servicing Company, contractors to the Shell Petroleum Development Company, were abducted on Dodi River on Wednesday while travelling by boat from Delta State to Bayelsa State.
The team was led by a member of the State House of Assembly representing Ekeremor, Mr Benadoumene Dein; Commissioner for Local Governments and Chieftaincy Affairs, Chief Fedude Zimughan; Commissioner for Special Duties, Bayelsa West Senatorial District, Chief Augustine Lugbenwei and Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Godson Omubo-Dede as well as the leadership of the Iduwini youths and some security personnel.
The state government expressed embarrassment over the incident caused by Shell Petroleum Development Company’s refusal to implement a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) it entered into with the Amatu community. Government in a statement in Yenagoa asked multinational oil companies operating in the state to implement any Memorandum of Understanding entered into with their host communities as youths always refer to their refusal to honour MoU as possible causes of such acts. Reassuring all and sundry of the safety of their victims of this criminal acts, the state government warned the perpetrators of such heinous crimes to desist from them or face the wrath of the law.
A Croatian, Ivan Roso, was held hostage by some youths from the same community sometime last year over alleged refusal of SPDC to honour a MoU it entered into with their community.
However, President of Iduwini National Movement for Peace and Development (INMPD), Mr. Manse T.I.T Manse, called to tell Vanguard, yesterday, that the hostages would not be released until the SPDC agreed to implement the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with Iduwini communities in 2000 or also produce alive their kinsman, Mr. Edwin Biboye, was among the 16 persons who visited the office of Maersk Shipper, another contracting firm to the SPDC in Port Harcourt in October 15, 2003 to secure employment and jobs for the host communities but has not been seen since then.
He said the Iduwini communities were not asking for ransom from the SPDC but were protesting "oppression, environmental invasion and unconstitutional discrimination spelt on us by the SPDC and its ancillary companies."
However, Commander of the Joint Task Force on the Niger Delta, otherwise known as Operation Restore Hope, Brigadier General Elias Zamani, told Vanguard when contacted yesterday, that he was in touch with the Bayelsa State government and it was already discussing with the abductors for the release of the hostages.
He said the Task Force would give the Bayelsa State government some time to discuss with the boys and secure the release of the hostages failing which he would have no option than to deploy his boys to wherever the oil workers were being held to rescue them.
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