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Niger Deltans Suffer More Than Anyone Else In Nigeria – Group Says

The Niger Delta Support Group (NIDSG) has lamented the state of underdevelopment of the region, stating that candidates and their political parties are paying “lip service” to the issue of restructuring in the wake of the 2019 elections.

While clamoring for a critical stakeholders’ forum to address the issue of restructuring, the group called on the federal and state governments to declare a state of emergency on the economy in the Niger Delta region.

Leading a protest on Saturday round some major streets of Warri, Delta State, the convener of the group, Vincent Udume Odogbor, noted that the call for a critical stakeholders’ forum to address the issue of restructuring and a call for the state of emergency became imperative “given that it is the fundamental ill upon which other ills such as marginalization, corruption, and underdevelopment of the Niger Delta rests”.

Bearing placards with various inscriptions such as ‘Niger Delta Support Group Demands for Justice, Equity and Fair Play’; ‘We Demand True Fiscal Federalism’; ‘Provide Jobs for our Graduates’; ‘Corruption is Killing Nigeria’; Probe $2billion NLNG Missing Fund’, among others, lamented the state of neglect and unemployment in the region.

In his address, Odogbor said: “The word restructuring has become a political slogan of those contesting for the office of the president. The truth is, we are not swayed by this rhetoric because restructuring does not mean privatization or commercialization. Handing resource control and management to the original owners of such resources is the truest definition of restructuring.

“We are all witnesses to never-ending news of stolen or missing oil and gas money without any proper accounting for the monies and without consequence as nobody has been sanctioned or prosecuted for these grave crimes against people’s future.

We in the Niger Delta suffer more than anyone else in Nigeria — the brunt from the life-threatening environmental hazards from oil and gas exploration, but the oil wells are owned mostly by our neighbors from the North who have dominated Nigeria’s political landscape since 1960.


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