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 PRESS STATEMENT

 MARITIME UNIVERSITY, OKERENKOKO AND NEGOTIATION WITH NIGER DELTA MILITANTS: IYC BLAST ROTIMI AMAECHI AND COMMEND IBE KACHIKWU

The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide condemns the reckless and false comments made by the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi about the establishment of the Maritime University, Okerenkoko and negotiation with Niger Delta militants at a town hall meeting organized by the federal government at Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on Monday, June 13, 2016. However, we strongly commend the pro-Niger Delta position taken by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu. At the said meeting, Mr. Amaechi falsely stated that Nineteen Billion Naira was used to acquire an empty plot of land for the establishment of the Maritime University, Okerenkoko and that he is not part of negotiation with militants in the Niger Delta region. Mr. Amaechi’s comment about the acquisition of land for the setting up of the Maritime University, Okerenkoko is completely untrue, totally wrong and deliberately made to justify his unpopular and anti-Niger Delta opposition to the establishment of the Maritime University.

For the purpose of records, we wish to state the facts relating to the Maritime University as follows:

1. The permanent site of the Maritime University is at Okerenkoko town in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South West Local Government Area and the land for this site was acquired from the Okerenkoko Community at an amount less than Two Billion Naira.

2. After work commenced at the permanent site, the Federal Ministry of Transportation approached Chief Government Ekpemupolo who owned a diving school at Kurutie, another community in Gbaramatu Kingdom to acquire his private diving school to be used as temporary site for the Maritime University.

3. It is important to note that this Diving school at Kurutue was an existing school with state of the art facilities and structures completely built. In response to the request of the Ministry of Transportation, Chief Ekpemupolo did his own valuation and arrived at about Fifteen Billion Naira, while the Ministry of Transportation did its own valuation and arrived at Thirteen Billion Naira. The completed diving school was then sold to the Federal Ministry of Transportation at the valuation done by the ministry.

4. Therefore, it is deliberate mischief for Mr. Amaechi who is now the Minister of Transportation and has access to all relevant documents to claim that land for the Maritime University, Okerenkoko was acquired at thirteen billion naira to justify his unreasonable and unpopular opposition to the establishment of the Maritime University, Okerenkoko. The land for the university was acquired for less than Two billion naira contrary to Mr. Amaechi’s claim. It was the temporary site, which is a completely built up land with structures and world class facilities that was acquired for about thirteen billion naira, which again is far less than Ameachi’s nineteen billion naira claim.

5. The IYC is of the strong view that Mr. Amaechi is aware of the facts but only deliberately misrepresenting facts to justify his anti-Niger Delta position.

6. We strongly condemn Rotimi Amaechi’s anti-Niger Delta position and commend the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu for standing with the people of the Niger Delta region and endorsing the development of the Niger Delta region. Mr. Kachikwu clearly demonstrated to the world that he is a worthy son and representative of the Niger Delta people.

7. It is surprising that Amaechi who opposed former President Jonathan for not developing the Niger Delta region is now leading efforts to undo the Niger Delta region in the present administration.

8. We wish to also state that Amaechi’s opposition to negotiation as a way out of the renewed militancy in the Niger Delta region shows that Amaechi is against the success of the Buhari administration. The IYC know as a fact that it is some top federal officials and party chieftains of Niger Delta origin in the Buhari administration like Amaechi who are against negotiation with militants and stakeholders that are frustrating government efforts to resolve the present hostilities.

9. We call on President Buhari to completely disregard the claims of Mr. Amaechi on the Maritime University, Okerenkoko and on moves to settle the renewed militancy in the Niger Delta region. Amaechi’s position is not in the interest of the federal government.

Signed for the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Worldwide:

Eric Omare,
Spokesman

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