Militant groups from the Niger Delta region under the aegis of the Reformed Niger Delta Avenger (RNDA) have faulted the South-South Governors on the the seven point demands presented at a consultative meeting with a Federal Government delegation with governors, ministers and other stakeholders from the region at Government House, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
According to the RNDA, the demands and restructuring template presented by the Governors is as laughable and dose not present the generality interest of the oil and gas producing communities of the oil rich region.
The chairman of the South-South Governors’ Forum and Governor of Delta, Ifeanyi Okowa, who presented the region’s demand, had said that the nation was not at peace because the country had failed to practice true federalism.
But the RNDA, in a statement faulting the South-South Governors and Stakeholders demand, picked hole on the issue of the direct payment of 13% derivation funds to the states, calling on the Federal Government to stand firm on the direct payment of derivation funds to oil producing communities, declaring that this is the only panacea to total peace and to address the under developmental challenges confronting the long neglected emancipated people of the region.
According to the RNDA, in a statement made available to NAIJA LIVE TV via electronic mail and signed by Johnmark Ezonebi also known Obama, the decision to vehemently reject and oppose to the 7-point demands made by the Governors of the South-South region was due to the misuse of development funds accrued to the states and the lack of proper utilization of the funds for needed development.
RNDA noted that though the demand for restructuring, True Federalism and resource control was at the high point following the nationwide #EndSARS Youth protest and Militant group declaration of a 21 days ultimatum to the federal Government for its implementation, “ the repeated Seven points Demands coming from South South Governors should not be taking seriously until they come out first to give proper account of the over 44.9 to 50 trillion that accrued to them from the federal government as 13 percent derivation funds through the federation account all this year’s without any tangible meaningful people oriented human capital development to address the sufferings of the people from the oil rich region.”
“And despite the need account of the misused Derivation fund, the Seven points demand should be considered to having a political undertone from the PDP Governors from the region and the presidency should not take them serious any day because they are the ones who contributed to the level of under development in the region. The RNDA stand to be proving otherwise that the governors have failed develop the region with over N50 trillion given to them by the federal government through the 13 per cent derivation funds from the federation account and they should hide their face in shame and they dose not have the temerity to speak or to ask the federal government with such baseless 7 points Demands”.
“And we therefore,call on the federal government delegation headed by the Chief of Staff to Mr President, Prof Ibrahim Gambari with the Deputy Senate President, Chief Ovie Omo agege, with the Ministers from the region not to take the 7 points Demands seriously that the Governors of the region have lost the support of the people and are out for a sympathy support of the people. And the demands do not represent the general interest of the neglected emancipated long suffering people of the oil and gas producing communities that is suffering from environmental degradation, environmental pollution and the hazard of the exploitation and the exploration activities caused by the multinational oil companies in the creeks of the region.”
“And these sufferings by the people of the oil producing communities is due to the Governors failure to properly utilize the 13 percent derivation funds the oil and gas producing communities demand that the federal government should stop henceforth paying the 13 percent derivation funds to this Governors any more.And the RNDA Militant group also frowns at the South-South Governors who have collected this huge amount of trillions, over N44.9 trillion to N50 trillion from the federal government through the 13 per cent derivation funds through the federation account all this year’s.”
The RNDA also alleged that Niger Delta Governors are owing debt to the tune of N2 trillion and above, records from the Dept Management Office, claimed that the break down on the 13 per cent derivation funds, each of the Governor’s in the south south region have collected from 1999 –2018 showed that , Akwa Ibom- N1. 47 trillion; Bayelsa- N1. 09 trillion; Cross Rivers- N278.12 billion; Delta State- N39. 9 trillion; Edo- N84. 54 billion; and Rivers-N 1. 44 trillion.
“Yet the oil and gas producing communities who are the legitimate owners of this 13 percent Funds through the proceeds of the crude oil production from their backyard are still wallowing in abject poverty with all this huge amount of trillions in the hands of this South South governors and now they still have the temerity and moral right to demand for Restructuring and resource control how would that be possible at this point in time, this inhuman peoples demonizing Party South South governors can’t fools us anymore”.
The group also demanded that, “The Federal Government should stop paying the 13 per cent derivation funds to the South-South Governors henceforth because that is the only panacea to peace and to reduce the militancy agitation and destruction of oil pipelines and oil facilities in the creeks of the Niger Delta region. And all what we are demanding for is the total control of the 13 per cent derivation funds by the HOSTCOM through setting up of presidential 13 percent derivation monitoring and Implementation Committee at the state level across the 9 Niger Delta States”.
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