N’Delta indigenes urged to push for passage of PIB

21 April 2016, Uyo — Speaker, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Onofiok Luke, has called on Niger Delta indigenes to push for the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) instead of complaining about alleged marginalisation.

*A lone boatman in the restive Niger Delta.

*A lone boatman in the Niger Delta.

The speaker made the call at a three-day Annual General Meeting of Partners for Peace [P4P] in the Niger Delta, in Uyo, the state capital.

According to him, if the PIB were passed into law, most of the needs in the region, over which tension has often been raised, would be met.

Luke, who reiterated that the era of violent struggle was over, stressed that for the needs of the region to be met, the people have to employ dialogue, negotiation and lobbying.

The speaker, who spoke on the theme, “Networking for sustainability,” charged lawmakers from the region to engage their colleagues and stakeholders, through legal means and advocacy.

“We must rise as a people to engage our representatives at the National Assembly, to see to the need and expeditious passage of the PIB,” he added.

He admitted that some of the agitations of the region are contained in the Bill, among which are making provisions for host communities, due to the environmental degradation that they have suffered over the years.

The speaker reaffirmed that, “Time has come that we all rise and begin to agitate through legal means, such as advocacy and lobbying, in order to make for the quick passage of the Bill.”

He emphasised that rather than shifting blames, the region should accept responsibility, and blame themselves for the ineptitude and selfishness that have robbed them over time.

Earlier, the National Coordinator of P4P in Niger Delta, Philip Kalio, had restated that the aim of the body was to achieve peace in the region, adding that so far, its agitations have led to massive mobilisation of resources and capacity building to bring peace to the region.

He pleaded with politicians from the region to eschew politics of bitterness, do-or-die politicking, by embracing the universal principles of the game, where only permanent interests count.

  • The Guardian
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