From NWADIKE UGOCHUKWU, Port Harcourt
PRESIDENT of Ijaw Youth Council, Comrade Udeng Eradire, has blamed the Federal Government and multinational oil companies operating in the Niger Delta region for the attack on oil pipelines and installations in various communities in the Niger Delta region.
Eradire who spoke with National Daily in Port Harcourt, said all Federal Government actions against the Niger Delta were responsible for the negative developments the country is experiencing in the region today.
He said that the Federal Government has continued to arrest the people of Niger Delta, cutting down the NDDC budget from four hundred and one billion naira to two hundred and fifty billion under intimidation and continued in harassment of the people of Niger Delta in the Government.
He also cited the canceling of the Niger Delta University, cutting down the Amnesty Program from Fifty-Five Billion Naira to Twenty Billion Naira, cutting down the budget of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs from Fifty-Eight Billion Naira to Ninety Billion naira as part of the reasons for attacks in the region.
He added that the Budget did not indicate any meaningful economic activities in the Niger Delta region.
He said that he had written to the President three times to seek audience with him but that the effort proved abortive.
He pointed out that if the Federal Government neglect against the activities of the region is not properly handled, there would be a stage when the people of the region will have no oil prosperity.
Eradire However warned the Federal Government not to politicize the issue of clean up in Ogoni Land, and called on it to include other communities in the Niger Delta in the clean up exercise.
He said, there is no how the Federal Government can clean Ogoni without cleaning other part of Niger Delta. He commended the President’s decision to put Ten Million dollars in Ogoni clean up exercise threatening that nobody can stop the clean up in Ogoni land.
Speaking further, Udeng called on the Federal Government to commenced clean up in Ogoni Land.
According to him, the issue of Ogoni clean up is the child play pollution in the Niger Delta.
“Our position is that reputable Organization should commence clean up in Ogoni Land, Our position is clear, you cannot commence clean up in Ogoni Land without other part of Niger Delta”.
He added that the issue of clean up must be holistic and warned that the Federal Government would not allow politicians to hijack the clean up exercise in Ogoni Land.