Ahead the October 31st meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, Chief Edwin Clark-led dialogue team has been urged to negotiate a better deal for the suffering masses of the Niger Delta.
National Coordinator for Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ), Comrade Sheriff Mulade, who made the plea, also enjoined Chief Clark and his colleagues to resist the temptation of “stomach infrastructure” while the discussion on the region lasts.
Mulade, however, expressed confidence in the dialogue with the Federal Government, but cautioned against what he described as “stomach infrastructure.”
“We at CEPEJ have trust and confidence in the dialogue team and the Federal Government being led by Chief E.K. Clark. We expect nothing less than honesty and sincerity from the dialogue team. Our expectations are high and they should not be dashed at the end of the day,” he said.
He charged members of the dialogue team to bring the vexed issues of the region before the Federal Government, saying “This dialogue team should not be business as usual.
This team should meet the yearnings and aspirations of the people of the Niger Delta region.”
Comrade Mulade, who’s also the chairman of Kokodiagbene community in Gbaramatu kingdom of Warri South West, claimed that from all the previous dialogues, starting from the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo to that of late President Musa Yar’adua and that of former President Goodluck Jonathan, there has been no Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) entered into with the Federal Government.
“But this time around, there should be an MoU at the end of the day between the Federal Government and the people. The role of the Federal Government, states, multinational oil companies, NDDC, and Ministry of the Niger Delta Affairs must be spelt out in the MoU. We want to see both the short and long term developmental strategies between the Federal Government and the people of the region,” he said.
According to him, “It is our charge to the Chief Clark dialogue team and the Federal Government to secure developmental strategies for the neglected Niger Delta region from the Federal Government.
“The team must not negotiate for themselves, but must go out there and negotiate a better deal for our suffering people.
“There should be no room for stomach infrastructure,” the environmental activist warned.