Former militant leaders under the aegis of Urhobo Gbagbako have urged the Federal Government to overhaul and restructure the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to pave way for “genuine host communities” to be physically captured in the interventionist agency’s development programmes.
They also called for the restructuring of the amnesty programme to accommodate those who surrendered arms and were issued with Joint Task Force (JTF) certificates but are yet to be documented for payment and training.
The ex-militants, in a statement by their spokesman, Priest Omodjuvwu, vowed to “fight the NDDC case to a logical conclusion as those appointed into the board have not given priority to the host communities.”
Noting that there had been talks since the inception of President MumammaduBuhari’s administration about the scrapping of the amnesty programme and the oil pipeline surveillance contracts, they said there “has not been any mention of oil blocs being allocated to a few highly placed individuals outside the Niger Delta region” nor plans by the Federal Government to ameliorate the continuous despoliation of the Niger Delta environment with unending exploration and exploitation of our crude oil.
“No one has talked about relocating the head offices of oil producing companies from Lagos and Abuja to the Niger Delta region. Our president must be reminded that the Niger Delta amnesty programme was not initiated by the late President UmaruYar’Adua administration because of his love for the Niger Delta but to guarantee continued oil production,” the group stated.
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