Niger Delta Fishermen seeks Buhari’s intervention

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    The Niger Delta Artisan Fishermen Association of Nigeria (ARFAN), Coordinator Rev. Samuel Ayadihas urged President Muhammadu Buhari to wade into the issue of outstanding oil spill compensation for them.

    Ayadi stressed that they have suffered untold hardship over the non-payment of the consolidated claims, a development that has crippled fishing activities and reduced fish output, hence the high cost of fish, adding that theywere awaiting the intervention of the president to give a new lease of life to the sector in line with the economic diversification policy of the present administration.

    The fishermen operating in the Atlantic coastline, explained that they had a consolidated compensation claims from the Qua Iboe oil fields being operated by Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited from 2,000 to 2010 pending at the presidency.

    He narrated that the immediate past administration had mediated between the oil firm and the affected communities but the fund had yet to get to the fishermen and other fishing communities in AkwaIbom, adding that they were informed that the presidency in the immediate past administration stepped into the matter and received some funds to settle the victims but unfortunately the fund had yet to be released before it left office.

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    The Coordinator who appeals to the president in line with his Change Agenda to authorise the release of the funds to pay us our claims, noted that it is their belief that these fishing activities will reduce fish imports which will ease pressure on foreign exchange and firm up the Naira.

    Ayadi buttressed that they have confidence in the fatherly disposition of the president, who belongs to everybody to champion the cause of the down-trodden, thirsty for justice and calls for a solution since they have not been able to get out of the problems caused by incessant oil spills, which affected more than 7,000 of their members.

    The Coordinator who lamented that a lot of his members had been thrown out of business following frequent spills which had wiped out generations of fish from the waters, emphasized that fishing required the protection of government to enable the fishermen provide fish, adding that the cheapest source of protein to guarantee food security in the country