Govt’s Aloofness Created Niger Delta Crisis - Pereotubo



President of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Barrister Roland Oweilaemi  Pereotubo, has stated that the Niger Delta intractable conundrum is a creation of the Government's aloofness to the issues of development in the region.

He made the statement on the occasion of the second regular meeting of the National Council on Niger Delta held at Akure recently.

He praised President Muhammadu Buhari "for creating an avenue for the Niger Delta people to engage the government in constructive dialogue. "We would not have been here charting the way forward had the President not given in to peaceful resolution of the issues in the region."

Barrister Oweilaemi thanked the organisers of the meeting "for creating a platform for the people to address the issues that are confronting us."
He averred that dialogue is the key to resolving the crisis in the Niger Delta region, "the response of the Government to the demands of the people is the solution to resolving the problem. This therefore means that the peace required in the Niger Delta is anchored on the development of the region.

"If past Governments had responded adequately to the yearnings of the people through developmental initiatives, we will not be talking about peace in the region because it becomes a permanent feature in the thinking of the people.
"We are not unaware of the developmental initiatives introduced by successive governments but lack of practical will to address the identified issues is the cause of the reoccurring problem in the region. "For instance, the reports of the various Commissions of Inquiries were thrown into the waste bin by their initiators after spending huge amount of money to set up those Commissions.

"The recommendations of the said Commissions if implemented, would have settled the issues in dispute long ago."
Going further, he submitted that "the reason why a cross section of the Niger Delta people is cynical to dialogue is because of the unwillingness of the past Governments to implement the recommendations of the various Commissions of Inquiries they set up.

"The above position presupposes that, action and not talks is required to address the problem in the Niger Delta. It amounts to nothing if the present Government is also organising talk show like its predecessors instead of addressing the issues presented to it by the leaders of the region.

"All that the Government need to bring peace to the region is to adopt and address the 16 point demands of PANDEF. "These demands are a recap of all the recommendations by the various Commissions of Inquiries.
"The position of IYC therefore on the topic in discourse is not to say new things but to dwell on the proffered solutions.

"Our stand on the way out is documented in the historic Kaiama Declaration.
"The lasting solution for peace in the Niger Delta is resource control, true federalism, political autonomy and self-determination within the Nigerian federation."



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