Development: Okowa, Clark, rally Niger Delta stakeholders, say let’s speak with one voice

Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa (middle); Ijaw National Leader, Chief Edwin Clark (right) and the representative of the Ovie of Uvwie, Chief Tene Omadide, during a One-Day Stakeholders’ Consultative meeting of Niger Delta Costal States at PTI conference Centre, Effurun, Delta State. PHOTO: EBENEZER ADUROKIYA.

Stakeholders from the Niger Delta have called for a unified voice to speak and agitate for the region as obtainable in the South West and the North in order to tackle the Federal Government.

The suggestion was made at a one-day Stakeholders Consultative Meeting of Niger Delta Coastal States held on Friday, in Warri, Delta State.

The meeting was at the instance of elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark to address the current security logjam bedeviling the South South region due to the heinous activities of militants.

Leading the call for a unified voice in the region, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa called on elders of the region to search their consciences and ascertain if they are really representing the people or their pockets.

He suggested that if the elders have a coordinated voice, the Federal Government would have no choice but listen to whatever they present on the table to engender peace in the region.

He decried a situation where the entire region looks uncoordinated in its demands and agitations.

Speaking in the same vein, Professor G. G. Darah called on all interest groups in the South South region to have a common platform to tackle the federal government.

Darah strongly called for restructuring of the country along political and economic lines in order for each zone to develop at its own pace.

He admonished the FG to appropriate the suggestions contained in the 2014 Constitutional Conference as regards restructuring of the country.

The stakeholders also called for the immediate relocation of the headquarters of oil multinationals to the region and the immediate reinstatement of the Nigerian Maritime University in Okerenkoko in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State.

Meanwhile, the Ijaw Youth Council has challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to pay a visit to the creeks of the Niger delta region.

Spokesperson of the group, Frank Omare, while speaking at the forum, urged the Federal government to demonstrate sincerity, adding that until militants are presented with concrete terms, pleas to lay down arms may not be achieved.