A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former acting Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Pastor Power Ziakede Aghinighan, has said that only sustainable development of the Niger Delta region and dialogue can bring a lasting solution to the lingering crisis in the region.
Pastor Aghinighan who stated this in a press statement entitled “Dialogue Not Violence, Development Action, Not Military Action” yesterday in Abuja, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to reject calls for military action in addressing the Niger Delta crisis.
He also advocated for a convocation of an emergency stakeholders summit on the roadmap to peace in the Niger Delta region.
According to the APC chieftain, “The recent upsurge in vandalism of oil and gas installations in Niger Delta by the group that identifies itself as Niger Delta Avengers has underscored the urgency of appropriate action to stem the total collapse of the Nigerian economy.
“This region has for over 5 decades shouldered the debilitating burden of sustaining the national budget of Nigeria with nothing commensurate in return.
“If President Muhammadu Buhari must be on the right side of history, he must act as a Statesman by rejecting the counsel of sycophants and jesters around him who are proposing genocide on defenceless Niger Delta citizens who live near vandalised oil and gas installations. Mr President must find out why the Niger Delta Development Commission is fast becoming a failing agency with unpaid certificates for jobs executed by contractors amounting to over N450billion and outstanding commitments of over N2.5trillion for contracts awarded?
“What has the Niger Delta State Governments done with the several billions they have received from the Federation Account through the 13% derivation fund since 1999 in addressing the development needs of the host communities that have borne the brunt of a devastated ecosystem?
“I appeal to the Niger Delta Avengers to cease any further attacks on oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta and give President Buhari the chance to prove his avowed commitment to develop the Niger Delta region.”