N/Delta stakeholders call for unified voice to tackle FG

•Clark demands restructuring of Nigeria •Calls on N/Delta militants to cease fire •Asks on Buhari to initiate dialogue with real “militants”

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 bedevilling the South South region due to the heinous activities of militants.

Leading the call for a unified voice in the region, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State 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 the restructuring of the country along political and economic lines in order for each zone to develop at its own pace.

He admonished the Federal Government 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 for 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.

Also, Ijaw leader and elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark has restated that the only way out of the present security,  economic and political logjam in the country is restructuring.

Clark made this known at the Stakeholders Consultative Meeting of Niger Delta Coastal States in Warri, Delta State.

The former minister of information stated that restructuring the country as being presently agitated for by various associations and individuals would not break the country as being misconstrued.

He said restructuring would rather strengthen the country and move it forward, adding that it would enable each region to grow at its pace.

Clark warned that the people of the region will never be subservient to other parts of the country.

The elder statesman, who urged President Buhari to initiate dialogue with real militants, admonished youths in the region to embrace ceasefire and refrain from destructive tendencies.

He called on the Federal Government to implement the contents of the 2014 national conference, especially the area of restructuring and regionalism.

He lauded former head of state,  Yakubu Gowon, former vice-presidents Atiku Abubakar and Alex Ekwueme for speaking in support of restructuring of the country.

At the meeting are Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and representatives of governors from other states in the Niger Delta region as well as traditional leaders and youths.