22 July 2014

Liberia: Citizens Petition Legislature Against Sale of Oil Blocks

Monrovia — The emerging oil sector of Liberia is beginning to show early signs of possibly becoming a source of conflict in a country which is still seeing a semblance of fragility with huge unemployment and high rate of poverty.

With the discovery of oil in the country several international companies including American Exxon mobile, Chevron amongst others have already got a hold on the country's oil blocks in controversial fashion.

With news that the oil company is preparing to sell the remaining oil blocks, some citizens have written a petition calling on the National Legislature not to ratify agreements for the sale of blocks 6, 7, 16 and 17. The group of Liberians under the banner, Concerned Liberian Citizens in a petition to the National Legislature stated:

"We, a cross section of concerned Liberian citizens, cognizant of the poor and abusive management of our natural resources, particularly our last extractive frontier; the oil and gas sector, and realizing our conscious duty and responsibility to defend and safeguard our future, and children's future, do hereby assemble invoking Article 17 of our Constitution to petition our National Legislature not to ratify the planned sale of oil blocks 6,7,16 and 17, and any future sale of any oil blocks until at such time when the ongoing reform process is completed ensuring significant Liberian participation".

The group headed by three Liberians including Michael B. Wah, Samuel F. McGill and Henry P. Costa in the petition vowed to champion the cause of the Liberian people in ensuring that the right things are done in the oil and gas sector of the country.

The group further stated: "We also hereby assure you, and swear to our sacred commitment to Country and People that; we shall continue to champion this cause not only in the oil and gas sector, but in the natural resource sector in general".

Resources in many African countries, including Nigeria, Central African Republic, Equilateral Guinea and others have been the main source of conflicts as despite vast resources standard of living in these resource rich countries are very poor.

Liberia has had its share of abuse of resources when various warring factions used gold, timber and other resources to fuel their war machinery subjecting the country to nearly 15 years of persistent civil wars.

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