Oil-producing communities in Abia State have demanded the immediate establishment of a federal university in their land as one of the conditions for lasting peace in the area.
The communities, who made the demand during a town hall meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in Umuahia said the Federal Government had since rewarded their counterparts in other states with federal institutions, and wondered why Abia’s case would be different.
President of Ukwa Youth Congress who conveyed this position at the meeting, Nwogu Chima, warned the Federal Government not to take the peaceful disposition of youths in oil- producing communities in the state for a weakness.
He argued that they deserved appreciation for not vandalising oil installations in their domain unlike their counterparts in other Niger Delta states, positing that it was high time the federal government sited a federal university of science and technology in Ukwa land.
Lending credence to the position, former Commissioner for Petroleum and a stakeholder in Ukwa land, Chief Don Ubani, said “ we need a federal university; other stakes took to arms but we resorted to peace, therefore we deserve a better treatment”.
The Director , Centre for Equity and Eradication of Rural Poverty, regretted that Abia and Imo State were usually neglected and sidelined by the federal government when treating Niger Delta states.
Adding his voice, the Senator representing Abia South zone, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, said it was provocative that Abia remained the only state without any federal university in their oil- producing communities, and called on the federal government to correct the anomaly.