- The Niger Delta forum for elders and leaders have made a huge demand on the federal government
- The forum called for a 37% increase on the oil derivation for the Niger Delta region
- The elders also urged FG to develop the region to Abuja and Lagos standard
The Niger Delta Elders and Leaders Forum (NDELF) on Thursday, June 22, demanded a 37% increase on the oil derivation for the region.
The forum said the people of Niger Delta are against the federal government's current approach on the sharing formula for the oil revenue.
Speaking with journalists in Yenogoa, Bayelsa state, the coordinator of the forum Mike Loyibo called for the derivation increase from 13% to 50% for the Niger Delta region.
Loyibo said only the provision of adequate infrastructure could ensure sustainable peace and security in the region.
He called for the upgrade of the region a standards like Nigeria's capital city, Abuja and Lagos.
“In the Niger Delta, we want true federalism; we want derivation to increase from 13 per cent to 50 per cent; we want the infrastructure in the region to be upgraded to the standard of Abuja and Lagos, we want schools, hospitals, roads and empowerment, among others.
“We are averse to cosmetic peace approach by the government. We have a situation, for instance, when there are bombings, the government comes and deceives you with one approach and you will forget your agitations.
“After that one, there will be another set of freedom fighters that will come and fight for a better deal for the area. So, what we want is, if you address and turn the Niger Delta to Abuja and Lagos standards, it is we the leaders that will even help the Federal Government to identify the troublemakers in the area," Loyibo said.
He further added that the people in the region are tired of FG's cosmetic make up. He called for a holistic approach to solving issues in the region through the reversal to the 1958 era of regional resource control.
Loyibo said: "During that era, the West was producing cocoa and paying tax to the Federal Government and the North, groundnut and they were paying tax to the government and that is true federalism.
“We must restructure Nigeria for every section to develop at their own pace. That is the thinking of the ordinary people that I represent in the Niger Delta. We are concerned about the environmental problems, the economic problem, the infrastructure problem and even the political problem.
“We want to be seen to be actually involved because we are not second class citizens; anywhere in the world, we are first class citizens and Nigeria belongs to all of us. All of us are equal people, there is no part that can intimidate any other.”
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NAIJ.com had reported that some former militants including Awe Akuke, Indian Fine Boy Kolotor and Augustine Aboh in a recent briefing called on the federal government to ensure their demands are met.
The militants said FG adherence to the demand will avoid necessary problems in the country.
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