There was confusion on Thursday at the venue of the public hearing on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) as members of host communities broke into a fight.
The fight broke out when the host communities of Nigeria producing oil and gas were called to the podium to make a presentation at the public hearing which was held at the House of Representatives in the National Assembly Complex.
One of the Itsekiri leaders stood up to speak but was opposed by other members of host communities present and a fight ensued leading to pandemonium in the hall.
Security agents at the hall including police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) officers had to break up the fight, prompting the house ad-hoc committee on PIB to allow each host community to speak.
The host communities are an integral part of the PIB.
The PIB has lingered in the National Assembly for nearly twenty years with previous assemblies failing to pass the critical legislation.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila had earlier on Wednesday assured that the Reps will protect Nigeria’s interest and ensure quick passage.
He said although the PIB has been in the National Assembly for decades without much success, the ninth Assembly would ensure that it passes it into law.
The Speaker expressed optimism about the process adopted by the House to engage all relevant stakeholders and noted that he was confident that the Ad-hoc Committee on PIB headed by Chief Whip, Mohammed Tahir Monguno, would do a thorough job.