The Federal Government has been enjoined not to rejig the status of the Maritime University, Okerenkoko in Warri South West Local Council of Delta State to avert a crisis in the oil-rich region.
There are rumours that the institution is about to be reset to only award National and Higher National Diplomas (ND) and HND).
The National Coordinator, Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ) and chairman of Kokodiagbene Community in Gbaramutu Kingdom, Comrade Sheriff Mulade, who made the call on Tuesday in Asaba, hinted that such move could attract the wrath of the Ijaw nation, thus altering the prevailing peace in the area.
He regretted that some people with vested interests were cashing on the fragile harmony to inflame the misunderstanding between the Ijaw and Itsekiri over a parcel of land the Federal Government was establishing the multi-billion naira Export Processing Zone (EPZ).
Receiving the executive members of the Indigenous Correspondents Chapel (ICC) of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Delta State Council, Mulade lamented that while communal crisis festered in the Niger Delta region, the governors became major beneficiaries of security votes.
His words: “The bane of our development is ethnic crisis. Government is a great beneficiary because of security votes. South South governors are great beneficiaries.”
He, therefore, urged the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration at the centre not to allow itself be used by any group or person to compromise the peace in the region by renaming the university against its enabling Act.
Mulade advised that political trading should be left with the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), saying it is entitled to three per cent of the budgets of all oil multi-nationals.
On solutions to the multifaceted challenges confronting the area, he faulted the setting up of a commission if the leaders were genuinely committed to its development, since no project, according to him, had been executed in the coastal areas.
He held that his community hosts over 200 oil wells yet no visible projects from any of the interventionist agencies.