Niger Delta agitators want better deal in allocation of oil blocs
Ex-militants protest disengagement by Amnesty office
A coalition of Niger Delta agitators has urged the Federal Government to ensure that people of the Niger Delta region get a fair share in the allocation of oil blocs in the country. The group urged the Federal Government and relevant agencies to correct what it described as injustice in the issuance of licences to the detriment of the Niger Delta people.
It lamented that the region and its people have been at the receiving end of the hazards associated with oil exploration over the years and as such deserve a better deal in the allocation of oil blocs.
It said in statement in Abuja yesterday that an equitable distribution of oil bloc license remains the panacea to sustainable peace in the Niger Delta region.They, therefore, enjoined the President to order the cancellation of all the expired 49 leases and licences and device a new approach that would bring greater benefit to all Nigerians.
The group insisted on the cancellation of the expired 49 oil blocs (OMLs and OPLs), adding that renewal of the licences would be an extension of further exploitation, deprivation and impoverishment of the larger society, while enriching families of few Nigerians.
Signatories to the statement include John Duke of the Niger Delta Watchdogs, Convener of the Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators, Ekpo Ekpo of the Niger Delta Volunteers and Osarolor Near of the Niger Delta Warriors, among many others.
Meanwhile, a group of former militants, who were beneficiaries of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), yesterday held a peaceful protest at the Amnesty Office, Abuja, over their disengagement by its Coordinator, Professor Charles Dokubo.
National Deputy Director of Ijaw Youths Council (IYC), Adam Ogomugo, who led the protest, said he was employed as a Senior Re-Integration Officer, but was affected by the disengagement.
Ogomugo claimed he had been in the office for over three years, and was deployed by PAP after his National Youths Service Corps (NYSC), to work in the Education Department.
“All staff members were asked to fill forms, which I did. As beneficiaries of the programme, we all have stake in the programme and therefore, cannot be disengaged without cogent reasons.”
Nigerians need to understand our plight; we are repented ex-agitators from the Niger Delta and we are already contributing our quota to the development of the region.”He pointed out that over the years beneficiaries were engaged in the office, adding that their stipend of N65, 000 each had been stopped based on the exit strategy introduced by the former Coordinator, Brig.-Gen. Paul Boroh.
Also, Tarila Dei-Osi, an Industrial Manager and graduate of South West State University Kursk, Russia, who was also disengaged, said he was employed as a re-integration officer in the Monitoring and Evaluating Department of the PAP.
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