Altercation: N/Delta youths demand relocation of Host-com meetings to Warri

As a result of a violent outbreak at a meeting in Abuja on Tuesday, youths from the Niger Delta region, under the auspices of the Niger Delta Ethnic Nationalities Youth Leaders, have strongly advocated for the relocation of future host community (HostCom) meetings to Warri, Delta State. 

The altercation, which occurred at a popular hotel in Abuja’s Central District of Jabi, resulted in at least three individuals sustaining serious injuries, escalating concerns about conflict management in oil-producing communities.

One of the injured parties was promptly taken to a hospital for emergency medical treatment, while the combined efforts of security personnel from the Utako Police Division and the hotel management team helped to restore order at the venue. 

Following the alteration, the President-General of the Niger Delta Ethnic Nationalities Youth Leaders, Victor Udoh, while addressing the media, Wednesday, emphasized the necessity of moving discussions to Warri to ensure the safety and effectiveness of future meetings.

He expressed dismay over the exclusion of some groups from the meeting, which escalated into conflict, adding that the choice of Abuja for the meeting resulted in “unnecessary embarrassment” for the Niger Delta, hence the importance of inclusivity. 

He said: “This impromptu press address is necessary to shed light on the unfortunate events that unfolded over the last three hours. 

“Our attention was drawn to the fracas within the aforementioned hotel, where members of the oil-producing community from Delta State were gathered to hold a meeting. 

“During this meeting, there were significant disagreements; some groups were excluded from the invitation, leading to conflict and even bloody injuries.

“We urge the Delta State structure of the oil-producing community to hold all future meetings in Warri, a significant city in the Niger Delta,” he stated, adding that Warri, known as the Oil City, is a more fitting location for oil-related discussions.

Furthermore, the Niger Delta Ethnic Nationalities Youth Leaders called on the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) and the National Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) to refrain from mobilizing community members to Abuja, citing “stress and uncertainties” involved in such travel. 

Udoh also highlighted the need to involve the region’s youth in every engagement to ensure peace and tranquility.

He explained that the incident was initially suspected to be politically motivated but was later found to be related to the meeting’s location.

“Our appeal is to ensure that future meetings are held in Warri, where the community has confidence in the leadership and the process,” he declared.