By Wilson Macaulay, Warri
A humanitarian group named Peace Development Security and Humanitarian Rights Association of Niger Deltans has called on President Muhammadu Buhari, Governors of the nine Niger Delta States, the Hon. Minister of State for Petroleum, Hon. Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, NDDC, and DESOPADEC, to use the instruments of their good offices to ensure that the thirteen percent derivation funds acruable to oil and gas producing States is used to establish or build at least seven community based Modular Refineries in each of the nine Niger Delta States.
Comrade Mike JK Tiemo, the group’s President who spoke in Warri, Delta State, asserted that the quest is necessary to break the fetters that has kept the region backward uptill this moment and to generate massive engagement and employment opportunities for the seventy five percent unemployed youths of the Niger Delta.
Comrade Tiemo observed that the establishment of the community modular refineries will rejuvenate the economy of the Niger Niger Delta and share the load of unemployment with oil majors operating in the region.
The well known humanitarian activist stated with emphasis in his speech that the move is an expedient clarion call to check further degeneration of unemployment rate in the Niger Delta to a point that will make the already bad signals worsened in the nearest future.
Comrade Mike Tiemo noted in his statement that if these germane suggestions are thrown to the wind, the nation will later regret what will happen in the Niger Delta which is capable of bringing our national economy to her kneels.
Speaking further, he stressed: “There is also an urgent need to site factories and industries in the region to make it an industrial cluster such as we have in Ogun State, adding that the region have the required fundamentals and wherewithal to achieve that noble objective.
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While harping on the need to make hay when the sun is shining due to the exigencies of the time, Comrade Tiemo said: “l advised the Niger Delta governors and other relevant stakeholders mentioned or quoted above to also engage in massive Agricultural activities in the Niger Delta to mitigate the drastic suffering and poverty of the Niger Delta people.”
Expressing more worries over how precarious the situation is, Comrade Mike Tiemo pointed out saying: “Today, the occupational customary livelihood of the Niger Delta people namely, fishing, farming, carving of carnoe, tapping of palm trees for palm oil and raffia for palmwine to mention but few has been destroyed over thirty years ago as a result of oil prospecting, (seismic) activities which involves the use of explosives like dynamites and detonators, oil exploration and exploitation activities by the oil companies operating in the region.
The Niger Delta humanitarian boss explained that the establishment of the community based Modular Refineries, factories, industries and massive Agricultural activities engagement to change the narrative of the region for good can be achieved with the cooperation of the collective effort of our people without prejudice or partisan inclinations.
Comrade Mike Tiemo appealed to all prominent Niger Delta stakeholders, particularly the opinion leaders to understand that this era should be a restructuring of our minds for a collective vision which will promote the growth and development of the Niger Delta which God has deposited so much in for our good.
He added that the BRACED Commission should be reawakened for visible and viable bilateral relationship within the region for the mutual benefit and survival of Niger Deltans.
While emphasising the need for unity as as an essential tool to safeguard the region from working at cross purpose, Comrade Mike Tiemo said: “United we stand, divided we fall, therefore there is a necessity for a persistent and robust consultative meeting of all recognised stakeholders and other relevant bodies to brainstorm the way forward for a progressive Niger Delta without creating any vacuum for controversies and discrepancies amongst ourselves.
He maintained that the remediation and the building process of the Niger Delta should be paramount, taken as a core responsibility and obligation since no other Nigerian can discern the depth of the pains that we are going through as a result of the marginalisation of some past administrations.
Speaking in a related subject, Comrade Tiemo seized the opportunity to also call on President Muhammadu Buhari, the leadership of the National Assembly, particularly the Chairman Senate Committee on State creation, Senator Ovie Omo – Agege, the Deputy Senate President, for the creation of Coastal Toru -Ibe State out of the present
Ondo, Delta and Edo States.
He also appealed compassionately for the creation of Egbema-Ibe Local government Council from the present Warri North in Delta State and Ovia South West Local government council in Edo State for the Egbema People to have a sense of belonging, to bring the government and development closer to the people.
Comrade Tiemo expressed the view that the creation of an Egbema -Ibe Local Government Council will go a long way to address the endemic and overdue issues of underdevelopment and marginalisation of the Egbema Kingdom.
To solve the educational problems of the people of Egbema Kingdom which he described as something near a disaster, Comrade Tiemo demanded for the immediate establishment of Niger Delta Polytechnic to be sited at Ofunama or Ajakorama town to bridge the academic gap for the Egbema people.
In summation, he appealed to all those in the helms of affairs from the Niger Delta to convert the crude oil Pounds and Dollars to attract applicable technology to our door step so that our nation be converted from a consumer based Republic to a productive economy.
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