The Gbaramatu Youth Council, has given the Federal Government a 40 days ultimatum to award power generation and distribution contracts to Escravos and its environs in Delta State.
This came even as the group threatens to shut down all oil exploration activities in the Escravos and its environs if the federal government continues to delay.
The socio-political group accused the office of the Vice President, which it claimed is responsible for the award of the contracts, as foot dragging on the project which was designed by the Goodluck Jonathan administration to provide electricity for the area.
In a statement signed by the President, Christopher EtuemiWuruyai, advised the Federal Government to do the needful on the project and warned that it will not fold its arms and watch the partners feed the rest of the country, with power supply generated from its land.
The statement reads; “We write yet again, to draw the attention of the Federal Government of Nigeria to the Escravos and environs 30MW Electrification project initiated in 2011, by the previous administration as part of the Federal government’s concerted efforts to open up the Niger Delta coastal communities to global economic activities, but which had been hampered by lack of public power supply.
“All efforts made by the Gbaramatu Traditional Council, during the Vice President’s fact-finding mission to the Niger Delta, to draw the attention of the Federal Government to the current challenges of this project seems to have met a brick wall.
“The project which is at the stage of award of contracts for power generation and distribution is in the purview of the office of the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and coordinated by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Gas and Power Division and it seems to have been left at the mercy of the elements.”
The group reeled out the challenges being met by the communities due to the comatose state of the project.
“Consequently, the perennial blackout being experienced in the area is making it impossible for the area to enjoy the basic social amenities in this part of the country.
“The Gbaramatu Youth Council, after extensive consultation with various leaders and stakeholders of the project from the various ethnic groups in the Escravos area have resolved as follows:
“We want the Federal government to intensify effort so as to commence works on the next stage of the electricity project of the Escravos and environs, as soon as possible.
“We would no longer sit back and allow the Nigerian state to supply other neighboring countries as well as other parts of the country electricity, generated with gas from our land, while leaving us in total darkness.
“In the strength of this, we would not hesitate to stage a massive protest which will result in mobilizing our women to a peaceful takeover and shut down of all oil exploratory activities within our home point, if the Federal Government again, refuse to take this release seriously and yet again turn deaf ears to our plight.
“However, should we embark on this protest, it shall be primarily, a peaceful one, so the security forces are hereby advised as to the nature of the protest and should avoid the use of force in order to prevent the breakdown of law and order,” the statement added.