Paul Obiajunwo, Port Harcourt
A group, Niger Delta Progressive Youth Leaders Council (NDPYLC) has urged the Federal Government to begin adequate funding of the Ministry Of Niger Delta Affairs and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for speedy development of the region.
NDPYLC added that the repeated visits of the presidency to the region and meeting with some leaders of the region would not stop the on-going agitation in the area.
The group made this demand yesterday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital in reaction to the visit of the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo to the Niger Delta States.
Speaking, the President of NDPYLC, Mr. Ikechukwu Daniel, wondered why the Federal Government would be talking about visit when they should have concentrated on how to reposition the NDDC.
Daniel pointed out that the pollution in the region as a result of regular oil exploration in the area had affected and reduced the life expectancy of the people of the area.
Daniel said, “We are of the opinion that visits of the presidency is not enough, and cannot bring peace to our oil rich and long deprived people. Rather than visits, it is important for the government to begin a robust funding of the Ministry Of Niger Delta Affairs and NDDC.
“We wish to remind the presidency that the life expectancy of our people is under threat owing to the level of environmental pollution and devastation of our land, air and water. The FG must therefore avoid the regular political rhetoric and be more practical in approaching the issues confronting us in the region.
“We wish to strongly and unequivocally reiterate our stand on the immediate demilitarization of the entire Niger Delta Region. This must be quick and total. The continued presence of combat ready-military personnel and hardware, and the unwarranted assault of our people in the name of raiding criminal hideouts is unacceptable, as this can only aggravate the matter.”