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N’ Delta: Urhobo youths reaffirm commitment to peace initiatives

Ben Dunno, Warri

Urhobo youths, under the auspices of the Urhobo Security Network (USN), have reiterated support to the Federal Government’s peace initiatives aimed at creating an enabling environment for the sustainable development of the Niger Delta region.

The youth body which affirmed its commitment in a communique issued at the end of a two-day summit held, in Warri, Delta State, at the weekend, acknowledged the role so far played by the Pan Niger Delta Forum ( PANDEF) in articulating demands that would not only usher in peace but also bring about sustainable growth.

It also applauded the federal government for keeping its own side of the deal by setting all necessary machinery in motion for the taking off of the Maritime University, Okerenkoko, in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta state, even as it urged the government to fast track other request put forward by PANDEF in its 16 point agenda.

The communiqué signed by Comr. Itoddem O.J.G. Daghware, National Commander (USN), Comr. Peter Sane Darah. Dir. of Publication, (USN), Chief Francis Arhiyor (President Urhobo Youth Leaders Association) and Comr. Festus Okumagba, (President Urhobo Youth Council), also called on the federal government to enforce its earlier directives on multi nationals to return their headquarters back to the region.

A copy of the communique made available to newsmen in Warri read in part; “After a careful and exhaustive deliberation of issues affecting the Urhobo Nation, the delegation resolved as follows: “We sincerely appreciate Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) as led by its national leader Chief E.K. Clark, in ensuring peace in the region since its formation in November, 2016.

“Commend the Federal Government in granting the take-off funds for the Maritime University, Okerenkoko, which is now ready for academic activities”.

“Commend the militant groups from the Urhobo Nation for heeding PANDEF’s voice to sheath their swords and give peace a chance to allow the Federal Government time to develop the region adequately”.

“Call on the federal government to ensure transparency and fairness in the handling of the Presidential Amnesty Programme as several complains relating to marginalisation, favouritism and outright replacement of names has been made against the Gen. Boroh run amnesty programme. This if not immediately addressed has the potential of undermining the peace efforts so far recorded in the region”.

“Call on the federal government to, in line with its earlier directives, demand for the immediate relocation of the headquarters of the oil companies in Urhobo land to their places of operations. These include but not limited to SEPLAT, PAN-OCEAN, HERITAGE OIL AND NPDC”.

“Call specifically on the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) which is the exploration arm of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and which is the operator of Abura Fields, UTOROGU and Afiesere Fields to relocate to Otu-Jeremi, while SEPLAT relocate to Sapele which is its immediate area of operation”.

“Call on the Federal Government and oil companies operating in the area to immediately undertake a programme of environmental remediation, including the clean-up and the restoration of all lands and waterways that have been polluted as result of oil production activities, as well as the immediate stoppage of gas-flaring in Urhobo land”

“Call for the immediate establishment of a true federal structure of government, which allows ethnic nationalities to have full control of their resources with unrestricted opportunities to plan and develop their areas in accordance with their desires and aspirations”.

“Call for the repeal of all laws/decrees, including Petroleum Act of 1969, Associated Gas Reinjection Act of 1979, Oil Pipeline Act of 1990, Mineral Act of 1990, Land Title Vesting Decree of 1973, National Inland Waterways Authority Decree Number 13 of 1997 and all other obnoxious legislation that deprive the people of Warri and others in the Niger Delta area, the right to their land and control of their natural resources”.

“Commend the federal government in reviving the Premium Steel Company, formerly Delta Steel Company (DSC), Ovwian, Aladja, while urging the new owners to respect the terms and agreements entered with the host communities to ensure justice and sustainable peace”.

“Condemn the recent killings in Abraka, Ethiope East L.G.A., of an innocent couple on their farm by suspected Fulani herdsmen, while urging the Delta State government to immediately pass the Anti-open Grazing Bill, or provide justifiable reasons for the unwarranted and costly delay”.

“Should the State Government fails to its duty to protect lives and properties of the Urhobo People against the excesses of blood thirsty herdsmen, we will be left with no choice than to resort to self help. We plead with the government not to push the people to the wall”.

“Call on the Delta State government to without delay make public the Professor Ekoko Abednego Panel of Inquiry report on the Aladja/Ogbe-Ijoh crisis, and warn against any attempt at the politicization of the crisis”.

“Support the call by PANDEF, South-South Governors and National Leaders for the restructuring of the country, and the equitable devolution of powers among the three tiers of government to reflect the federal nature of the Nigerian state, failing which political activities towards the 2019 general election will be greatly disrupted in Urho

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