Militant groups threaten to resume armed agitation over 13% derivation
Posted by News Express | 16 April 2021 | 362 times
By SIMON UTEBOR, Yenagoa
A coalition of nine militant groups in the Niger Delta has threatened to dump the ceasefire reached with the Federal Government and resume armed agitation over the alleged refusal of the government to stop paying 13 per cent derivation to the governors of the region.
The coalition, under the aegis of Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA), accused Governors of the region of allegedly diverting the money accruing from the 13 per cent derivation to personal pockets without recourse to the infrastructural development of the oil-producing communities.
The RNDA, in an electronic statement on Friday by its Coordinator, self-styled ‘Major General’ Johnmark Ezonebi, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to pay the derivation directly to oil producing communities since the governors had allegedly failed the people of the region.
The coalition lamented despite the series of complaints and petitions against the state governors concerning the underdevelopment of the Niger Delta, the Federal Government had not deemed it necessary to stop paying the derivation to them.
The RNDA threatened the alleged decision by Buhari to side with the state governors by refusing to the stop the derivation payment to them would not be tolerated any longer and it might lead to resumption of hostilities in the region.
The coalition said: “We frown at the payment of 13 per cent derivation funds to state governors in the Niger Delta despite protests and suggestions that it be paid to the oil-producing communities in the region in order to improve the direct welfare and infrastructural needs of the oil communities.
“We agreed after our emergency meeting in the creeks of the Niger Delta that we will soon collapse the cease-fire agreement entered with the Federal Government since on the 21st of August 2016, if the payment of 13 per cent derivation fund to the governors continues.
“And that it will be bloody in the creeks if our demands are not met because we will not fold our arms and continue to tolerate the deliberate perpetual injury occasioned by the governors of the oil-producing states to the people who are from the oil-producing communities in the creeks.
“There is serious deliberate neglect by the governors of the region despite receiving such huge amount of money monthly while the people in the communities are abandoned and left to suffer.
“The governors live flamboyantly without having any human feelings for their fellow kinsmen who suffer most hazards from the exploitation and exploration activities from crude oil production from the communities.
“Our people are left with no single meaningful development and human empowerment despite the billions and trillions of naira being collected by these Governors on behalf of the oil-producing communities.
“The level of deliberate abandonment and neglect by the governors of the South south states who are receiving over N180 billion yearly from the Federation Account as payment of 13 per cent derivation from the Federal Government on behalf of the oil producing communities is nothing to write home about.” (The Nation)