People of Ndokwa in Delta State have called on President Muhammadu to give the community a special attention in national issues, saying Ndokwa land is not a conquered territory of any nation.
The people made the call in a communique after a meeting in Kwale, Ndokwa West Local Government Area, under the aegis of ‘Ani Osa Ndokwa’ Clan President Generals and Coalition of Ndokwa Associate Groups, led by Ambrose Abanum, who is the 1st vice president general, the representatives of Ndokwa.
They said until the conditions are fulfilled the erstwhile peaceful people of Ndokwa land will be forced to take their destinies in their hands, while decrying alleged gross marginalisation and disregard to the people by successive governments.
According to the Abanum-led group, President Buhari must consider immediate appointment of Ndokwa indigenes on the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and fair share of the marginal oil fields among many other demands.
Also, the Abanum coalition said Ndokwa land is host to the largest Non-Associated Gas (NAG) reserve in the West African sub-region, according to extant seismic, geological and drilling data. There are enormous natural gas resources of more than 10 trillion cubic feet that can support two or more major LNG projects.
“The government that undermines our people by preferring to take provocative and anti-peaceful actions should not forbid us to respond to their provocations.
“The ongoing anti-corruption probe of NDDC should bring justice to the people of the Niger DELTA. It should not be swept under the carpet as a mere political exercise. NDDC should no more be a sink hole for awards of over inflated contracts or none existing projects.”
“We have remained peaceful without any history of sabotage, vandalising pipelines or blowing up of oil production facilities, against the continuing neglect and marginalization of our people,” he said.
It said the destruction of the eco-system occasioning severe environmental consequences has forced most Ndokwa people to seek alternative but hazardous livelihood.
The coalition said to avoid youth restiveness in Ndokwa land, there was urgent need for government intervention in the provision of infrastructure, capital and human resources development; set up alternative rewarding programmes for the youths and women, in educational scholarships and loan incentives for small and medium scale businesses, artisanal refineries, compensations for gas flares, industrial give-backs projects for the exploitation of our oil and gas.
The coalition invited the Federal Government to note the summary of the details and seven-point demands as follows: appoint an Ndokwa person into the management board of NDDC as either board chairman, managing director. Construct coastal road from Asaba through Oko-Abala-Utchi-Okpai-Aboh-Abalagada ending at Patani.
“Our people should not be provoked to halt the gas supply for the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline project among other pipeline networks.”