Ex-Maritime Academy Rector Tasks FG On Negotiation With Militants | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Niger Delta

Ex-Maritime Academy Rector Tasks FG On Negotiation With Militants

Niger Delta Avengers, Millitants, Ex-militant, NPDC
Posted: Jun 21, 2016 at 6:11 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Idongesit Ashameri

Uyo – Mr. Nseyen Ebong, former rector, Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, Akwa Ibom State, has appealed to the Federal Government to negotiate with Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) to end attacks on oil installations in the South South region.

Speaking in an interview with our correspondent in Uyo on Monday, Ebong said that negotiating with the militants had become the best option in ending the current crisis in the region.

“I would like to appeal to the Federal Government to dialogue with them (NDA), it is the best option that will ensure the return of peace to the region,’’ he said.

Ebong who is the immediate past rector of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron, however appealed to members of the NDA to reconsider their strategy as their attack on oil installations was “aggravating the suffering of the people” in the area.

On how the problem of the region should be tackled, he suggested that the people should learn to demand for accountability and transparency on how funds allocated to states in the region are being utilised.

“We should ask our leaders to account for what they have collected from the federation account,’’ he said.

The region has witnessed a resurgence of militant activities recently with reports of oil facilities being attacked and oil companies in the region shutting down operations.

Meanwhile, key stakeholders have identified the decision of the Federal Government to drop plans to continue with the proposed maritime university in the region in which a budget has been allocated for the development of institution as one of the reasons for the upsurge of militant activities in the region.

However, other stakeholders who spoke on condition of anonymity said the fight against corruption currently being waged by the Federal Government appears to be one-sided, only targeting people from a section of the country.

The people said while citizens should demand accountability from elected leaders on the use of funds accruing to the region, the Federal Government should ensure that oil block allocation is fair to all sections of the country.

Another source who did not want his name in print suggested that the Petroleum Industry Bill, which has been in the National Assembly for years, should be revisited to give a sense of belonging to the region.

He said that employment of indigenes of the Niger Delta region should be given priority by the oil companies to stem the rising tide of agitation while issues of underdevelopment of the region should be addressed by the Federal Government?.