buhari and niger delta elders
President Buhari and VP Osibanjo with a cross section of Niger Delta Elders after the meeting

Niger Delta stakeholders on Tuesday presented a 16-point request before President Muhammadu Buhari asking, among other things, for the restoration of peace in the region.

Alfred Diete-Spiff, the Chairman of Bayelsa State Traditional Council, confirmed this development to State House correspondents in Abuja after a meeting between President Buhari and the stakeholders from the region.

According to Diete-Spiff, some of the other demands border on the need to fast-track interventions on some of the indicative regional infrastructure, the Presidential Amnesty Programme, law and Justice as well as the need to reconsider the planned deployment of more armed forces to the Niger Delta.

He said the plight of Internally Displaced Persons, the Ogoni Clean-up and Environmental Remediation, the issue of Maritime University, Okerenkoko and security surveillance as well as protection of oil and gas infrastructure, were part of the demands.

Diete-Spiff said the stakeholders also presented the issues of the relocation of administrative and operational headquarters of oil companies to the region, power supply, inclusive participation in oil industry and ownership.

“The 16-point included, generally whatever we say, infrastructure development, manpower and human resources and of course, you have the welfare of the people.

“These are the main things.

“The locations of the oil companies, is one of the points that we pointed out.

“These IOCs (international oil companies) have their headquarters somewhere in Lekki or Abuja and even their operational headquarters are not within the area of their operations.

“This is not right because even the `pay as you earn tax’ is not coming to the region.

“The workers, nobody is engaged locally there; they just come and harvest and go away.

“The presence of the military, of course, you know, has been agitating the boys and that too we said it should be reversed.’’

Diete-Spiff assured that the people of the Niger Delta region remained committed to achieving peace and progress of the country.


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