By G9ija

Ijaw youths in Bayelsa State at the weekend threatened to shutdown operations of telecommunication companies following unresolved issues bordering on diesel supply to their various power plants in the state.

The youths were said to be angry that indigenes of the state had been shut out of the companies’ multi-million Naira diesel supply chain to generators that power telecommunication masts in the state.

It was gathered that the youths under the auspices of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide had written many letters to the management of frontline telecom operators such as MTN, Airtel, Glo and 9Mobile on the need to correct the imbalance.

The youths in the letters signed by the IYC Chairman, Central Zone, Mr. Kennedy Olorogun, insisted that they would no longer tolerate the companies’ practice of outsourcing diesel supply to only non-indigenes in the state.

It was learnt that following lack of response to all the letters, Olorogun issued 14-day ultimatum to the companies to act or risk disruption of their operations in the state.

In one of the letters sent to the MTN Telecommunication company, Bayelsa State branch, Olorogun reminded the firm of previous letters indicating interest of IYC to be part of some of is empowerment schemes.

The letter was also sent to the Commissioner of Police, Director, Department of State Service (DSS) and the Commandant, Joint Task Force (JTF), Operation Delta Safe.

Addressing MTN, the letter said: “The council is aware that it is non-indigenes that are doing all the jobs and supplies in the company.

“The desire of the council to be a partaker in the economic opportunities in your company such as the supply of Automative Gas Oil (AGO) popularly known as diesel and other basic and fundamental supplies going on in your company are legitimate demands that ought not to be contentious.

These are embedded in your corporate social responsibility to your host communities and area of operations in line with the Local Content Act 2010. The pecuniary benefits derivable from these economic opportunities would assist the council to organise workshops, seminars and assist indigent members of the council.

“Having discovered that you have elected to treat our request with disdain and your hostile disposition to our peaceful approach is standing as an obstacle towards any meaningful engagement with you.

“The council has decided to issue your company 14-day ultimatum which will effectively start July 9, 2019. At the expiration of this ultimatum, the council will have no choice but to picket and shutdown your operations”.