Niger Delta group tasks government on development of region
The Niger Delta Peoples Movement (NDPM) has called on the federal government to do more than it is currently doing to bring development to the area which it said despite being the goose that lays the golden egg has been neglected.
It also frowned at the slow pace of clean-up in Ogoni land calling for an expedited action just as it commended the federal government for releasing the arrears of 13 per cent owed to states from the region since 1999.
hese were part of a communiqué issued by the group at the end of its Annual General Meeting with the theme “Bridging the gap between the past, present and future of Niger Delta” held in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
Part of the communiqué signed by Mr Emmanuel Enemudo, the AGM Committee Chairman, Andrew Okonzuwa, the worldwide President of the group, Ejiro B. Ineneji, Convener, Ms Ruth Adedeji the Public Relations Officer and Collins Azuike, the National Secretary of the group said Nigeria belonged to all the nationalities irrespective of how they come to be known as a country and therefore have equal stake and must ensure that it remained one country.
It said that “The Federal Government of Nigeria has not done enough with the clean-up of Ogoni Land and has therefore kept the people in perpetual squalor and degraded environment; the association, as an environmental protection group, calls on the Federal Government of Nigeria to immediately mobilize adequate resources and men for the clean-up of Ogoni Lands and its environs affected by bad oil production practices.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria and the State Governments of the States affected need to take urgent steps to compensate victims of the recent flood disasters in the Niger Delta Region and to take deliberate actions aimed at forestalling future occurrence in the Niger Delta as well other parts of the Country, Nigeria.
“While appreciating the Federal Government of Nigeria for the release of the 13% derivation funds owed the region for many years, the Association calls on government to not only release the monies but also promote measures aimed at ensuring that states that received the money does something tangible towards the development of their peoples and state.”
Besides, the communiqué which also had as signatories, Edafe Sodje, BoT Chairman, Anthony Osakunih, National President and John Ighedosa, Coordinator called the government and all well-meaning individuals “especially those in the corridors of power and men of means and resources and influence within the Niger Delta Region, indigenes and friends to rise above partisanship and parochialism, to run to the rebuilding and Urbanization of the entire Niger Delta Region.”
The communiqué also read that “The Federal Government should provide access to information and protect fundamental freedoms in accordance with national and international agreements.
“All levels of Government (Federal, State and Local), should provide equitable quality education, discourage gender inequality (protect the girl child), organize voters’ enlightenment workshops to educate and orientate the youths on the risk of involving in political thuggery, and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
“NDPM seeks for a Pan Niger Delta agenda. Thereby providing an atmosphere of peace, justice, fairness and strong institutions for a peaceful and inclusive society for sustainable development in the Niger Delta region.
“The Federal Government and all security agencies in the country should brace up and swing into top gear to curb the security challenges bedevilling the country now. High precision security gadgets & arsenals should be unleashed, as well as the use of ICT, to effectively tackle the crime rate that is alarming in the country and a menace to our society.
“All Oil companies drilling in the Niger Delta Region are mandated by the Federal Government to relocate their Headquarters back to the Region.
The “NCEDO-NDPM is ready to partner and work with the government and her agencies charged with the responsibility of dealing with these issues, in ameliorating the suffering of our people, the grassroot masses of our dear Niger Delta Region.”