Published On: Sun, Nov 20th, 2016

Thank God Jonathan lost 2015 election –Niger Delta Leader

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In the face of the growing criticisms against the present administration’s handling of the economy, the Chairman of the Niger Delta Nationalities Forum in Lagos, Mr. Seigha Manager, has given the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government a pat in the back. He said the president is doing his best in spite of the fact that things are terribly hard.

In a chat with The Nation, Manager noted that if Jonathan had won the election in 2015, he would have been in a big mess with the current oil price. “I doubt if he will not be stoned by Nigerians and even Niger Deltans, if the economy could be as bad as it is now. If he has won he would not have left as a great leader that he is today. So, I thank God that he lost the election and it is Buhari that is presently in office and those who believe in him are still hopeful,” he said.

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Mr. Seigha Manager, Chairman of the Niger Delta Nationalities Forum in Lagos,

Manager also lauded Federal government’s decision to dialogue with leaders of Niger Delta region saying: “The dialogue is extremely necessary and even overdue. President Buhari is right in dialoguing with the leaders but for not doing this since 2015, I feel very strongly that he is overwhelmed by the undue pressure and misinformation from either his party or overzealous folks, otherwise a former Head of State and a former Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) Chairman, he should be the most qualified, most guided and most experienced leader to handle the Niger Delta crisis with utmost care.

To bring about lasting peace in the Niger Delta region, Manager said: “The president should look into the issue of the Presidential Amnesty programme and give it everything he can. He should bring in more restive youths into it and pay them their stipend as at when due. Although we talk of the infrastructural develop and all sorts of development in Niger Delta the one that is immediate and can affect the lives of the youth is the Amnesty programme, which is the only successful interventionist programme in Niger Delta. The President should ensure that they are not only trained but counseled at the end of the Amnesty programme to be able to fit into the civil society.

“As for other interventionist agencies like the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the Niger Delta Ministry, the President should make up his mind either to fund them properly or scrap them completely. If he is unable for whatever reason to fund the agencies properly, he should scrap them rather than create the impression that there are so many interventionist agencies in the region and that the government has done so much for them even when they are not properly funded”.

Aside from the Amnesty programme, Manager also asked the Federal Government to take another look at allocation of oil blocks. “The allocation of oil blocs and wells to Nigerians without recourse to the Niger Delta people is another issue. The richest woman in Nigeria cum Africa is from the South-West and her source of wealth is oil. The richest man in Nigeria cum Africa is from the North-West and his wealth is largely tied to oil exploit.

“Oil bloc allocation is the prerogative of the President of Nigeria at any point in time and when he allocates, until such allocation is changed by law, it remains so. We are grateful to the late General Sani Abacha, who created Bayelsa State and allocated oil blocs to three deserving Nigeria citizens from the South-East, North-East and South-South (Niger Delta).

“These three oil blocs are OPL 244, OPL 245 and OPL 246. OPL 245 was allocated to a Niger Delta citizen and the only one I know to be so. While the other two have enjoyed peace and tranquility in the hands of their owners, that of the Niger Delta citizen, OPL 245, is akin to a bird standing on a tiny rope. Neither the bird nor the rope has seen peace till date.

“It is the only oil bloc that every passing regime has poked into simply because the allottee is a Niger Deltan. It is the only oil bloc that has been allocated, cancelled, later returned to the allottee and then is under probe at any given time. All of this is happening because the allottee is from the Niger Delta, yet the owner does not fall in the bracket of rich persons in Nigeria not to talk of Africa. There are other issues like that”.

He further said: “Recall that Senator Ita Enang once stated on the floor of the Senate how about 85 percent of oil blocs are allocated to northerners and others to the exclusion of Niger Deltans. I am not aware if that situation has changed. Yet it is the only oil bloc allocated to a Niger Deltan that has become a source of dispute and sought after by others. That is the height of injustice against the Niger Delta people. This is not only wicked but also evil and shameful. President Buhari as a man of integrity must intervene in this matter.

“These are the things that bring restiveness to the Niger Delta. Therefore, I am appealing to Mr. President and even the National Assembly members, whom we know that as at today, have constituted committees again and again to probe this particular oil bloc, to please sympathize with us in the Niger Delta and allow us to have some peace. Let the Niger Deltan who owns the oil bloc own it for good, while the President looks into other issues. But, in all of this, we are watching the role of our legislators.”

(SOURCE -NATION)

 

 

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