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Niger Delta group gives FG deadline to develop region

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PHOTO: VOA

A Niger Delta group, Ndoshimili indigenous People of Ndokwa East (NIPONE), has given the Federal Government up to October 30,2020 to address the alleged perennial neglect of its area.

During a press brief yesterday at Aboh, headquarters of Ndokwa East council area of Delta State, the group threatened self-determination and control of oil and gas as well as well power assets within their communities.

Speaking through its chairman, Olisa Imegu, NIPONE stated: “After decades of trying to peacefully engage those maintaining the posture of a peace-loving people without having any respite, show of concern or attention from Federal Government, oil prospecting companies and other entities operating in the Local Government Area, we, as a people, are constrained to bring to the attention of the whole world our pains.”

The group went on: “We are scared of neglect, deprivation, marginalisation, environmental degradation and ecological dislocation caused by exploratory activities and movement of badges as well as the devastation and pollution of our communities.

“We hope to begin to see evidence of response before October 30, 2020, without which we will be left with no other option than to exercise our universal right to freedom of aspiration and self-determination, including takeover of all oil, gas and IPP assets in our communities in a bid to end the long suffering, deprivation and denial of benefits of our God-given resources and non-development of our people and land as well as set in motion the development of our communities.

The former Delta State House of Assembly Speaker noted: “Our riverine communities of Utchi, Aballa-Uno, Aballa-Obodo, Aballa-Oshimili, Inyi, Onuaboh, Ibrede, Obodo-Okoroafor, Lagos-Iyede, Lagos Ame, Onogbokor, Akarai, Umuoru, Ase and Onyah, just to mention a few, have no all-season roads and waterways; no healthcare facilities (hospitals, clinics, primary health centres, etc).

“No functional primary or secondary schools, no tertiary educational institutions, and no government scholarships for our children. Our sons and daughters are not given managerial employment opportunities by oil and gas companies operating in Ndokwa East LGA. “

He went on: “The effects of the protracted neglect has created social and economic hardship for our people. It has made our communities inaccessible by road or waterways, causing avoidable wastages of massive agricultural produce the people are noted for, lack of industrialisation, among others.

Another of their demand included: “Immediate provision of electricity to all communities in the local government area, as the Federal Government and its major oil and gas partners are guilty of criminal neglect, deprivation and marginalisation, for keeping the host communities of oil and gas exploration companies and hosting the power facility which contributes 480MW to the grid.


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