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Niger Delta youths blame leaders for problems



Bombed oil infrastructure in Niger Delta. Twitter photo.

By George Odok

The Pan Niger Delta Youth Leadership Forum (PANDLEAF), says the leadership of the region over the years should take the blame for the problems and failures of the region.

The forum, comprising the leadership of youth groups in the region, made this known on Tuesday in a meeting organised by its Coordinator, Mr Richard Akinaka, in Calabar.

The group maintained that the problem of under-development of the region was due to the selfish behaviour of some leaders of the region.

A communiqué signed by the President of the forum, Mr Famous Daunemigha, and its Secretary, Mr Michael Ekpo, said the forum agreed that the time had come to hold leaders of the region accountable.

“We know that we have not been treated fairly within the comity of the Nigerian nation; it is our belief that the problem of our region is more of the leadership failure.

“ It is on this note that while we want to engage the Federal Government, we want to hold past and present leaders of the region accountable for the resources and opportunities they have wasted.

Over the years, they said trillions of naira have been pumped into this region.

“We have had our own self-appraisal and found out that it is not showing anywhere in the region.

“So, as a people, we are also condemning ourselves for not managing the resources well,’’ the communiqué stated.

On the proposed Modular Refinery by the Federal Government, the forum urged the government to relax all bottlenecks associated with licensing and other regulatory processes.

The group said that this would enable people from the zone to benefit from the process.

They also criticised the concession of Port Harcourt and Warri refineries, without considering the people of the region.

The forum expressed support to the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, over the relocation of the headquarters of International Oil Companies (IOCs) to their areas of operation.

“We are also using this medium to assure the IOCs and governments at all levels, of our commitment to work with security agencies to provide the enabling environment for them to do their businesses peacefully.

They also urged the Federal Government to urgently resettle the displaced people of Bakassi, in line with international best practices. (NAN)

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