•Calls for release of take-off grant of the maritime university
The Pere of Gbaramatu Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Oboro-Gbaraun II (Aketekpe, Agadagba) has appealed to the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) to sheath their sword and give peace a chance hoping that the Federal Government will do the needful.
He made this statement today in Warri through the spokesman of Gbaramatu kingdom, Chief Godspower Gbenekama.
His Royal Majesty urged the Avengers to sheath their sword and still give peace a chance adding that the information passed with the message will act as a wakeup call to the Federal Government.
Continuing, the Pere also advised the Federal Government to douse the tension in the region by listening to the demands of the youths and possibly call for a dialogue.
He specifically pointed out that addressing the 16 Point Agenda made by the region, which includes kick starting the EPZ project and ensuring the take off of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko will go a long way in restoring the needed confidence.
This according to him will not just calm the unrest but create massive employment that will take the youths off restiveness and get them gainfully employed.
According to him, the Federal Government had failed to fulfill any of the promises that led to the suspension of the hostilities, more than one year after meeting with leaders of the region under the aegis of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF).
“Unfortunately, the government does not have time. For instance, this is November. The Maritime University that the Vice President said will kick-off by September/October, nothing seems to be happening. The N2billion which was not enough for it to take off that the Vice President said will be set aside, where is the N2billion? What about the state government? They can still do something. So, this is a wake-up call for both the federal and state government to start doing something before things get out of hand.
“We have said six months ago that the peace we are enjoying is a delicate peace; a peace of the graveyard, because the Federal Government seems not to be doing anything to sustain this peace. We spoke about the 16 Point Agenda having something like the EPZ project. If that project takes off, it will veer the attention of the youths from militancy to productive employment.
“As far as I am concerned, the Niger Delta remains our land. If we burst all the oil pipelines and then the degradation of the environment comes, we will suffer it for years. We know that this is what carries the economic power to the north. But we also have some effects that we will suffer. So, we are pleading that they should sheath their sword. Let them still give the government some time, even though we know there is no time.
“And to the federal government, I want to say they don’t have time. This foot dragging as to the development of the Niger Delta will not do us any good. Let the Federal Government as a matter of urgency address the issues that were presented to them by PANDEF and various leaders of the Niger Delta.
“I insist that Federal Government should do things as if it were yesterday. They have no time. In the 16 Point Agenda, there were low hanging fruits; issues like the kick-off of the Maritime University, the cleanup of Ogoniland, the Bakassi question, the EPZ project, etc. One year after, nothing has happened. These people are justified to be angry but we want to say we are begging them not to carry out their threat,” the spokesman added.
The Pere therefore urged the Federal Government to release the promised N2billion for the smooth take-off of the maritime university.
It could be recalled that the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) on Friday issued a statement opting out of the ceasefire agreement entered into with the Federal Government with the intention of going back to the creek to continue with their hostilities.