Political, Economic Autonomy top agenda as NDC adopts charter for Niger Deltans

· Says Niger Deltans may seek self –determination, if FG fails to adopt a constitution that captures their rights

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Political, Economic Autonomy top agenda as NDC adopts charter for Niger Deltans
A Cross Section of Niger Delta sons and daughters, during the conference convened by Niger Delta Congress, NDC in Bayelsa


Ethnic Nationalities of the Niger Delta, under the auspices of Niger Delta Congress, NDC, have adopted a charter of what they described as their inalienable rights, warning that failure by the Federal Government to adopt a constitution that captures these rights in the shortest possible time, would leave Niger Delta people with no option, “but to exercise our rights to self-determination as a people, independent of the Nigerian Federation”.


Fresh Angle International can report that motion for the adoption of the charter was moved by Chairman of Niger Delta Congress, Delta State Chapter, Comr. Destiny Noritsegho and Seconded by Representative of Ibibio Ethnic Nationality, Chief Ubong Akpana on Friday October 8 at Ijaw House Complex, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, during a conference convened by NDC for sons and daughters of the ethnic nationalities that make up Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River States.


The five-point declaration in the NDC charter are; right to defend Niger Delta people and their land against violent attacks, “using whatever means we deem necessary. OUR RIGHTS TO OUR LANDS, WATERS AND RESOURCES: That all land, resources (underneath and on it) in the Niger Delta belong to and shall be controlled, managed and protected by the peoples of the Niger Delta for our benefit. By this, we mean complete land and resource control”.


The affirmation includes: OUR RIGHTS TO POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC AUTONOMY: That the political and economic affairs of the Niger Delta shall be controlled by Niger Delta people for the advancement and development of the Niger Delta.


OUR RIGHTS TO A CLEAN AND CONDUCIVE ENVIRONMENT: That an environmental assessment of the entire Niger Delta region and a corresponding cleanup of the region must be carried out.


“OUR RIGHTS TO JUSTICE: That adequate compensation for the destruction of the Niger Delta environment must be paid by all oil companies that have operated in and are currently operating in the region, in collaboration with the Nigerian government. That reparations of oil revenue deprived the people from 1960 till date must be paid in full”.


While stating that Niger Delta people protested against perceived colonial constructs created in the run-up to Nigeria gaining independence from Britain, NDC emphasized: “The wishes of our people were dismissed by the pre-determined Henry Willink’s Commission setup by the British Colonial Government for the purpose of looking into our fears. The victimization and robbery of the Niger Delta people, has been done using various laws and decrees, including constitutions, which have over time been forced on our people, despite protest against such from our people”.


According to NDC: “In the process of the forceful exploration of our mineral resources by the 

Nigerian government in collaboration with foreign governments and oil companies, our environment has been severely degraded and devastated, destroying the economic livelihoods of our people by rendering our lands unfit for Agriculture and harmful for habitation; while rendering our rivers largely unfishable and poisonous for consumption where available. In addition the ground water reserves of our land has been contaminated with benzene, making it unfit for consumption, putting the lives of millions of our people in the balance between a certain death from dehydration or a certain death from the consumption of hydrocarbon contaminated water.


“As at today, the Niger Delta region, has been purposely underdeveloped and the people economically emasculated by legislations and policies of the Nigerian federation, which has limited, or in most cases eliminated the socio-economic and socio-political freedoms of our people, as a means to keep our people perpetually down and completely subjugated.


“Whereas it is only a just society with economic, social and political freedoms that can develop in peace and unity, however the existing framework of the Nigerian government, has neither been just to the people of the Niger Delta, neither has it provided or allowed for the exercise of our freedoms as human beings.


“The current administration of the Nigerian Government though said to be democratic, has so far manifested as an ethnic and regional dictatorship, with no regard for the principles of fairness and equity and has shown utter disregard and disrespect for the people of the Niger Delta, who contribute 90% of the resources that fund the budget of the Nigerian Government.


“The rising cases of insurrections, ethnic cleansings and land grabs and insurgencies within the country, puts to question the usefulness of the current security architecture and has shown the failure and inability of the Nigerian government in protecting the lives and properties of the people of the Niger Delta.


“The blunt refusal of the Nigerian Government to heed to several calls for resource control, restructuring and devolution of powers by the region as documented in the various charters and declarations of our people over time, has brought the people of the Niger Delta to a critical point where we have, collectively, decided to take our destinies in our own hands”.

Copyright: Fresh Angle International (www.freshangleng.com)
ISSN 2354 - 4104

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Hitler Preye Bela
She is the Confidential Secretary/Desktop Publisher of Fresh Angle International Newspaper. A Graduate of Computer Science, Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, Edo State with over 7years experience in Desktop Publishing. She can be reached on 07033457898
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