Bayelsa: Host communities shut down NCDMB building, reject training of 100 youths

Hundreds of protesters on Wednesday, again, besieged and shut down activities at the headquarters building of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.

The aggrieved youths said they rejected the offer of training just one hundred youths from the earlier agreed and approved 1000 youths from over 850 communities in the eight local government areas of the state.

The angry protesters at the early hours of Wednesday stormed and barricaded the main entrance to the content tower, preventing visitors and workers from gaining entrance into the building.

Recall that DAILY POST, had on Monday reported that the protesters besieged and shut down activities at the headquarters building of the NCDMB, over the expiration of agreement and non-commencement of trainings for youths of the Oil and Gas communities.

The protesting youths who chanted solidarity songs to press home their demands, vowed never to accept anything less than 1000 youths for the first phrase of the training.

Speaking to DAILY POST, state chapter Chairman Host Community of Nigeria producing Oil and Gas (HOSTCOM), HRH Boma Kerekebina, said they were embarking on this peaceful protest based on their earlier agreement signed and approved by all stakeholders.

He stated that they will only accept the number of persons approved by the Bureau for Public Prosecution in a document which is 1000 youths in the first phrase in Bayelsa, adding that any other manipulation by the board will be totally rejected.

The Chairman, who was represented by the Sagbama Local Government coordinator, Mr. Safa Perekebina, disclosed that even after the board took away hundred slots from their approved 1000 and promised to train 900, they have resorted to playing tricks with the agreement.

He said, “Till now no date or venue have been communicated to the youths for the training after all documentation but rather officials of the NCDMB keep making flimsy excuses.”

According to the Executive Secretary HOSTCOM, Mr. Ofoni Ebimobowei, after several meetings, the board resorted to delay tactics.

“They told us that they can only train 100 youths because they have only N105 million naira, which we told them is unacceptable. The budget has been done and approved since 2019, and they delayed till now and they are telling us another lies, we will not accept it,” he said.

In his brief, Chief Dogibara Allison, said all they want is to make peace and the only way to go is to abide by the earlier agreement, noting that the small way for the NCDMB to give back to the society is to train youths from the host communities in Bayelsa State.

When reached on the board’s reaction, the media officer to NCDMB, Mr. Obinna Ezeobi, said the board is not an agency responsible for training of youths in the state, but are for the oil and gas industry.

He added that the board will respond officially to any other claims. (DAILY POST)

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