Youths Urged To Shun Pipeline Vandalization, Other Destructive Vices

 

Youths have been urged to shun any activity that can cause degradation to the environment, raging from pipeline sabotage and vandalization,among other illicit activities.

 

Rising from the 2024 Youth Peace Summit held in Umuahia, Abia State, the President, Niger Delta Youth Peace Builders(NDYPB),Comrade Chibuike Emmanuel, said pipeline vandalization does not only wound our potentials but result to lost of revenue, it creates unemployment,fuels poverty, breeds conflict/unrest and as well,causes poor infrastructural development.

Cross section of Participants

Presenting his address at the annual youth summit, Comrade Emmanuel, said the youth of the Niger Delta region should not be defined by the protracted challenge facing the region,because they possess the power to break free from the cycle of destruction, as they have the potential to be agents of change and architects of a thriving future.

He said the workshop is a testament to the potential embedded in the youth of the Niger Delta region and also creating the opportunity for them to share ideas and empower themselves,as well as,learn from experts about the devastating impact of pipeline sabotage and as it affects not just the environment but the future of the youths.

Comrade Chibuike Emmanuel

The President of NYDPB stated that the workshop would afford participants the opportunity to explore peaceful alternatives, ways to channel energy and aspirations into constructive pursuits and businesses, creating art and shaping a sustainable future for the region.

Comrade Emmanuel noted that the Niger Delta region is united by a common goal, urging the youth to build a better future for themselves and the region. “A future where peace reigns, opportunities flourish and our environment thrives. The path to this future is marred by a significant obstacle;pipeline sabotage and vandalization. Therefore, the urgent need to nip in the bud this challenge”,he said.

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He, however, commended the efforts of the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Benjamin Kalu, for initiating the Peace in the South East project, which according to him, is a beacon of hope, creating the platform for dialogue, collaboration and commitment,so as to overcome the challenges facing the region and build a more peaceful and prosperous region.

The group’s President further urged the participants at the summit to become peace ambassadors in their various communities, spreading awareness and encouraging others to join in the cause of change, as it cannot be achieved by a few but requires collective efforts, commending the Niger Delta Development Commission(NDDC),for their contribution in realizing the workshop, which he said was a significant step in the right direction.

He said the support of the NDDC for the workshop,shows their commitment in investing in the future of the youths and also in equipping the youth with knowledge and skills needed to become active citizens and build a better tomorrow.

 

Earlier, the chairman on the Occasion, Hon Onyendi Okwulehie,in his keynote address, highlighted the dangers of pipeline vandalization to include the destruction of the economy, loss of lives and other valuables, stating that the workshop was apt,as it would create the avenue for youths to come together to address the menace of pipeline sabotage and vandalization.

 

Hon Onyendi Okwulehie

Hon Okwulehie harped on the need for youths of the Niger Delta region to disconnect from all forms of illicit environmental activity and pipeline vandalism,as it causes air and water pollution that poses great risk on the health of the citizens.

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Also, in his goodwill message, a social Activist, Mr Chika Nwabueze, encouraged the participants to make good use of the workshop to reposition themselves, since it has the capacity to change their thoughts and world views.

He said so much expectation had been placed on the youths, urging them not to disappoint but continuously engage themselves positively,shunning behaviors that are detrimental.

In a paper presentation,entitled,”Taming the Beast in the Body of Pipeline Vandalism:Territorial and Subduer, Who are most Affected? the Resource person, Jonah Orji, said Pipeline vandalism is a deliberate attempt by individuals or group of individuals, who have premeditated thought and decided to take action of intrusion,breakage,cutting and damaging oil pipelines to steal petroleum products either for personal use,to sell on the black market or to process in illegal refineries.

Jonah Orji

Orji said activities of pipeline vandalism is taking top discussions,since it poses a lot of threat on our environment,health and economy.

According to him, it causes serious issue that has resulted to explosions,loss of lives and livelihood, environmental degradation, truncation of bio life,negative externalities,loss of crops,vegetation and animals,economic hardship,climate change,among others.

He added that pipeline vandalism brews a lot of consequences ranging from loss of jobs for potential oil and gas employers,psycho-social effect,economic and legal consequences and other risk factors.


The Management and Research Consultant disclosed that the impact of pipeline vandalism demands urgent attention,requiring publicity and lodging various campaigns through institutional channels to reaching out to the affected persons and communities,so as to stem the tide of the act.

He,however, recommended for a reward and incentive schemes be put in place to discourage vandalism and for youth entrepreneurship programs be formalized to harness talents within the Niger Delta Region. Also for the youth department of the NDDC to continue in the campaign to curb the adverse consequences of pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta.

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Equally, he opined for repented pipeline vandals to act as watchdog over others and report cases of such incidence to the appropriate authorities, stressing that a database for all trained youth across the Niger Delta region be formed.

Taking responses from the participants, the Chief Executive Officer of Afrique Styles and Concepts,Organizers of the Face of Afrique Styles Pageant,Amb Umah-Kalu Jessey, said pipeline vandalization are majorly carried out by the male folk but lamented that the effects of the acts are felt across both gender, calling for more women to join in the campaign against the eradication of pipeline vandalization.

Amb Jessey further urged the youths to discover their potentials, as well as work and run with them so there won’t be any need for them to be involved in illicit activities.