The proposed plan by the Federal Government to relocate the Brass Fertilizer & Petrochemical CompanyLimited (BFPCL) located in Odioma Community of Brass Local Government Council area of the State has sparked off protest among youths and women of the area.
The protest March, embarked upon by the Indigenes of the Community along major roads of Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State , caused a stir as motorists and shop owners watch in awe as angry Women and Youths warned the Federal Government against the proposed plan.
The Protesters,armed with placards with inscription such as “Save our Soul:Bayelsa Govt”, Odioma people are peace loving,let fertiliser plant stay”, Leave Fertiliser plant in Odioma” and ” There is peace in our land for Fertiliser plant, moved to the Yenagoa Liason office of the Brass Local Government Council to present their protest letter to the Council Chairman, Hon. Bello Bina.
The Chairman of the Community Development Committee(CDC), Mr. Philemon Kelly Dickson, Comrade Forcebray Atekepe, the President of the Odioma Youths Council and the Women Leader of the Community, Mrs. Boukuomo Sampou alleged that the planned relocation of the fertilizer company from Odioma was instigated by some leaders of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the State.
According to Kelly Dickson,” Our people are angry and we have come to our council Chairman with a Save Our Soul message that some persons are pushing the Federal Government to relocate the Fertiliser plant from Odioma. When they pushed for the relocation of the Brass LNG,we thought it was joke,but we have seen the dangerous manner these persons are pushing for violent reaction.”
“We thought that the existence of the Brass LNG and the Fertiliser plant will boost development,employment and peace in the area, but the planned relocation will only instigate crisis. Our oppressors have started and want to throw Brass into turmoil. When the fertiliser people came and requested to buy land to locate the company, we sat and decided as a people to give them over 595 hectres of land. With documentation done and the C of O being planned for presentation, they want to relocate. This is an attempt to push the people of Odioma.”
Also speaking, the President of the Odioma Youth Association, Comrade Forcebray Aketekpe, noted that the threat of relocation is a clear threat to over 15,000 jobs expected to be geberated from the company. The land given them is not in dispute and there is no reason for the relocation. ”
The Woman Leader, Bokuoma Sampou, warned the Federal Government against fanning ember of violence with planned relocation,” The women of Odioma have suffered in the past and we hope we will not be made to suffer again.”
The Chairman of the Brass Local Government Council,Hon. Bello Bina, who expressed concern over the development warned the Fertiliser company to stop the planned relocation in the interest of peace,” If the Fertiliser company want to operate in peace, they should stop the planned relocation. The Bayelsa Government and the Brass Council will not abadon Odioma people at this time.”
” If those involved in the attempts to push for the relocation of the company wants to flex muscle,why didn’t they manipulate Bayelsa Governorship poll. They must know that they can not fight God.”
“Without the Niger Delta,there can not be Nigeria. If the Federal Government and the Company wants peace, they should stop the planned relocation. They can not manipulate the people of Bayelsa. That era is over.”