By Wilson Macaulay
The Peace Development Security and Humanitarian Rights Association of Niger Deltans has called on the Niger Delta governors, the Deputy Senate President, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, the SSA to President Buhari on Niger Delta Affairs to see themselves as one in the drive for the growth and development of the Niger Delta region in the life span of the President Muhammadu-led administration.
The leadership of the Humanitarian Group strongly held the view that the 13% derivation fund issue should not bring tension and suspense to the Niger Delta in order not to derail from the general demand of the region particularly PANDEF’s 16 point Agenda, the 18 point demand of Peace and Humanitarian Group and other stakeholders interest from the Niger Delta as expressed and made known to the FG in their various letters and publication in the mainstream media which the Government is yet to address.
Comrade Mike JK Tiemo, the President of Peace Development Security and Humanitarian Rights Association of Niger Deltans who spoke in Port Harcourt to a group of selected journalists canvassed the view that the issue of 13% should not bring internal wrangling or controversy between the leaders in particular and region in general.
The Humanitarian Group President stated that the call became paramount and imperative because unity and peace are essential ingredients needed for any reasonable development to take place in the Niger Delta, hence called on all leaders, particularly the political class to close ranks and come out of their ethnic cocoons, shake off the cloak of clannish desires and forget about party affiliations and focus collectively in unity of one accord to use the 13% accruing to the region meticulously in the interest of all stakeholders.
The humanitarian boss explained that apart from the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo Agege and the SSA to President Buhari on Niger Delta Affairs ,Senator Ita Enang, all other leaders are past and present governors in the Niger Delta region therefore, they should not allow tension and chaos to brew or occur in the region, rather they should proffer fresh measures or solution for the utilization of the 13% fund.
Speaking on the way forward, Comrade Mike Tiemo said the governors and core leaders aforementioned in conjunction with other relevant bodies and stakeholders should come together to use the money for major projects in the oil producing communities such as the establishment of modular refineries, factories, industries and higher institutions that will generate revenue for the further development of the communities and also impact on the people fiscally in terms of human capital development and capacity building.
Continuing, still on the best way for Niger Delta people to manage the 13% accruable fund, he pointed out saying: “The Niger Delta leaders should come up with a fresh, clear and transparent developmental agenda or a management team that will avert further controversies as regards the 13% derivation funds.”
He stated further: “Since nobody can be more catholic than the Pope, in the same vein we must understand that no person from another region will come from their localities to change the narrative of our people unless we take our destinies in our hands.”
Comrade Tiemo, the good governance advocate appealed to the governors , the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo Agege, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timpre Sylva, the SSA to PMB on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang and other relevant stakeholders, recognized bodies or groups to shun whatever differences and avoid criticisms, segregation and controversies for the rapid and accelerated development of the region.
He strongly contended that there is need for the restructuring of our minds for the proper reunification of the Niger Delta leaders in the overall interest of the inhabitants of the Niger Delta because united the region we stand and divided it falls.
Comrade Mike Tiemo seized the opportunity to advise the governors, Senators, House of Representative members and the adviser to lobby for the creation of more states, constituencies , LGA s and wards in the Niger Delta.
He stressed that, the creation of the states, constituencies and LGA is the fastest way to bring government closer the people at the grassroot to avoid persistent marginalization and also to ensure the provision of government essential infrastructures such as health centres, schools, roads, electricity etc, which are basic necessity needed to live a good and enviable life.
While harping on the need for the unity of the leaders in the Niger Delta, Comrade Mike Tiemo reiterated: “Our leaders should not act as tribesmen, who see things good only if you are from their tribe, a practice that has brewed so much deep strife in the country, hence the advocacy by our Group, Peace Development, Security and Humanitarian Right Association of Niger Deltans for all our leaders to be good citizens who truly desire project Nigeria to be a success.’’
According to him, it is paramount for the leaders of the Nigeria Niger Delta region to use the proceeds from oil wisely now that they are in office to do what is right and needful for the people so that their good legacy can live on as beacon of light for others to emulate.
He emphasized that we need to remember that a time is coming when oil may not be very useful the way it is today, hence the need to make hay when the sun shines.
Giving a more vivid example, he said: “Look at coal, which was the toast of all solid mineral resources which is today relegated while the east suffers the effect of erosion due to the activities of road mining in the past.”
Comarade Mike Tiemo more importantly cautioned: “What our leaders are doing right now is a disservice to the people. On that note we are calling for immediate cease fire of all kinds of media attacks currently going on, so that all our desirable collective effort can be geared towards one target which is the development of the Niger Delta region. Any other interest should not truncate this laudable process.”
Tiemo in his summation said: “Everyone with Niger Delta DNA should keep the brotherhood of one Niger Delta because there is always a silver lining at the end of the tunnel.”
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