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Darah seeks 100% resource control, says 13% derivation is 87% deprivation

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Gordini Gabriel Darah

A founding member of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Professor Godini Gabriel Darah, yesterday advocated 100 per cent resource control for the Niger Delta region, saying 13 per cent deviation amounted to 87 per cent deprivation.

He argued that the region was underdeveloped compared to other parts of the country, as the Federal Government continues to steal oil and gas resources meant to develop the zone.

He stated this during a one-day colloquium in Yenagoa to mark the post-humous birthday of the late Power Aginighan, titled: The Niger Delta Development Challenges and Institutional Responsibilities: The Way Forward.

Darah, a former Chairman, Editorial Board of The Guardian newspaper, urged governors of the Niger Delta to join agitations for restructuring the country, as a restructured nation would guarantee speedy development of the region.

He expressed disappointment over what he described as the docile attitude of most Niger Delta governors towards restructuring, noting that it was unfortunate that only Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has been vocal on the matter.

His words: “We have to increase the number of Niger Delta governors who are demanding restructuring, not just Governor Dickson, all other governors should also join and make it attractive.

“The 13 per cent derivation has made some changes, you can imagine what 100 per cent can do and we need 100 per cent back to our region because 13 per cent derivation is actually 87 per cent deprivation.”

Speaking, Chairman of the occasion, Ambassador Boladei Igali, described the late Aginighan as one Ijaw and Niger Delta activist, who was passionate about the development of the region.

He added that he (Aginighan) used his position to advance the Ijaw cause in particular and Niger Delta’s in general, noting that the region would miss his forthrightness and commitment.

Meanwhile, the Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ) has charged the Federal Government and multi-national oil firms to immediately commence the cleanup of Ogoniland and other affected areas in Niger Delta region.

Its National Coordinator, Sheriff Mulade, told The Guardian in Abuja after touring creeks, that the pollution has become worse and that hunger was looming in oil-impacted communities.

Mulade said that the Niger Delta people, who were known for having a decent source of livelihood from fishing business, have lost their occupation due to environmental degradation.


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