• Sunday, June 16, 2024
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UNDEDSS gives conditions for peace in Niger Delta

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President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to breathe life into the amnesty programme introduced by the Yar’Adua administration as a way of ending renewed militancy in the Niger Delta.

This is the major content of a statement released by the United Niger Delta Energy Development Security Strategy (UNDEDSS), the region’s coalition of ethnic nationalities and civil societies.

The statement signed by UNDEDSS Secretary General, Tony Uranta, charged the Federal Government to adopt the Yar’Adua template by appointing a credible Special Adviser on the region and re-establishing the Niger Delta Committee/Council that operated five sub-committees to holistically and sustainably address the challenges identified in the region.

“UNDEDSS and other leading stakeholders in the region have tirelessly interfaced with very senior members of this Administration and given them a detailed template the President should deploy now to resolve this growing insecurity in the region, which is negatively impacting all of Nigeria,” Uranta stated.

While stressing that all the Federal Government needs to do is adopt the 2008 Niger Delta Technical Committee’s Report, the group listed immediate actions the government can commence towards reassuring the Niger Delta of its sincere commitment to justice and equity to include: “The release of 10 secondary school children and others detained as prisoners-of-war for many weeks since the military’s invasion of Gbaramatu Kingdom; return of Symbols of Gbaramatu traditional worship; and most importantly, President Buhari addressing the nation to announce that he would personally lead the revival of the 2009 Template premised on a Niger Delta Development Committee under his direct supervision, plus grant free passage to all stakeholders he is ready to directly dialogue with.”

The Federal Government had last week attributed low level of revenue generation to renewed militancy in the region, which reduced crude oil production from 2.2million daily envisaged in the 2016 budget to as low as 800,000 at the peak of the crisis.

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Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, who told the Senate Committee on Appropriations, said: “The bulk of the problem of low revenue generation came from militant agitations in the Niger Delta which affected oil production which prevented us from reaching the 2.2 million barrel even though the price is going up.

“It is going up again to about 1.9 million barrel but the revenue will come in three months time because the generation of today is not the revenue of today but of three months time”.

Speaking on the development, a conflict resolution expert Walid Ibrahim called on the President to adopt the carrot approach to end the crisis.

According to him, using the stick approach would further complicate the problem.

“President Buhari must revive the amnesty programme. And take a step further by calling stakeholders forum between him and know militants in those areas. When he gets in touch with them, they will help him in reaching out to the Niger Delta Avengers and other militant groups to end the militancy so that oil production can increase”, he told BusinessDay.