‘Corrupt Politicians Responsible For Niger Delta Underdevelopment’ | Independent Newspapers Limited
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‘Corrupt Politicians Responsible For Niger Delta Underdevelopment’

oil spills, niger delta
Posted: Jun 16, 2016 at 6:07 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Emma Arubi

Warri – Corrupt politicians, including serving and former governors of Niger Delta states as well as their cronies,  have been fingered as responsible for the underdevelopment of the region.

This is against the backdrop of the persistent calls on the Federal Government to dialogue with the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) and its affiliate militant groups such as Joint Niger Delta Liberation Front  (JNDLF) and the Ultimate Warriors in view of the renewed Niger Delta crisis.

The allegation is contained in an open letter addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari by ‘The Warri Study Group’, the prominent Itsekiri monitoring group, on the ‘State of the Nation’ as it affects renewed Niger Delta crisis.

While alleging that the purpose of the campaign for dialogue is to “put pressure on the Federal Government to drop charges against certain persons in the Niger Delta, ”the group declared that “some of those masquerading under the Avengers and shouting dialogue have far more ill-gotten property in Warri, Lagos, Abuja, South Africa, Dubai, UK and USA” than those undergoing Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT)  trial.

The open letter which was signed by Edward Ekpoko Esq and Tony Ede, Chairman and Secretary of Warri Study Group, noted in strong terms that the group is “vehemently opposed to the call for dialogue with the militants,” just as they opined that the “Niger Delta Avengers have no Niger Delta related focus, direction or vision”.

They canvassed for a “dialogue with genuine leaders from the various ethnic nationalities of the Niger Delta on how to bring those who have misappropriated the fund of the agencies of development like NDDC, MNDA, DESOPADEC to book and strengthen the institutions for better performance.”

Warri Study Group tasked the Economic  and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices  and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), and other relevant agencies saddled with the constitutional responsibility of investigating and prosecuting corrupt public officers on the management of funds allocated to NDDC, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs (MNDA), DESOPADEC and other development agencies.

The group said that, on the alternative, government should create another panel for the Niger Delta to investigate funds meant for the development of the region.

The letter dated June 11, 2016, expressed anger that despite the two-week cease-fire by the Federal Government to provide window for dialogue, the Niger Delta Avengers and “its affiliates are still recalcitrant and have continued their rampage on the Nigerian economy,” noting that most of the destroyed oil and gas facilities are on Itsekiri land.”