We Want Oil Blocs And More - Niger Delta Leaders Present 16 Demands To BuhariA delegation of Niger Delta leaders under the auspices of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum, on Tuesday, November 1, with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja and presented a 16-point demand to him, Daily Trust reports.
The meeting came after weeks of doubts over the sincerity of the president to meet with the stakeholders from the oil-rich region. Militant group, Niger Delta Avengers had recently threatened to fully call off its ceasefire in response to the president’s seeming inconsistency.
The Avengers group also recently attacked an oil facility to indicate its resolve to return to violent agitation should the government refuse to proceed with planned negotiations with Niger Delta leaders.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the leaders said the 16 points were “quick wins” that could be achieved to restore hope and confidence in a region that has “grown skeptical of dialogue and engagements that have hardly produced tangible results“.
The demands include allocation of oil blocs to natives of the region, maritime university, stop of military occupation of communities and proper funding of the amnesty programme.
The demands also include extension of Ogoni clean-up to other areas of the Niger Delta, employment opportunities for trained ex-militants and support for internally displaced persons in the region.
Other demands are relocation of international oil companies that have their head offices in Lekki(Lagos) and other places back to their areas of operations, infrastructural development, manpower and human resources development, federalism, among others.
Chief Edwin Clark addressed newsmen at the end of the two-hour meeting with President Buhari whom he said received them very well.
He also said the region’s stakeholders were not at the Presidential Villa for a battle with the president but to fashion out solutions to the challenges facing the region.
“We have no other country than Nigeria. We cannot continue to destroy the assets of the country and the ecosystem of our environment,” Clark said.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, said Buhari told the Niger Delta stakeholders that he did not want a quick solution but wanted to dig into what the real problems were.