12 November 2018, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt — Niger Delta Youth Leaders have called on the Federal Government to set aside 50 percent of the revenue from the total volume of crude oil produced in the country, for the clean-up of Ogoniland and other polluted sites in the Niger Delta region.
This was the resolution reached unanimously by various youth leaders in the region, during a visit to Bori, the traditional headquarters of Ogoniland as part of activities to mark the 2018 anniversary of the execution of Niger Delta Right Activist and Writer, Ken Saro-Wiwa and other Ogonis which occurred on the 10th of November, 1995.
The resolution is contained in a communique issued and jointly signed by the Niger Delta Youth Leaders including President of the Ijaw Youth Council, Eric Omare; President of the Ibibio Youth Council, Imoh Okoko; President of the National Youth Council of Ogoni People, Matthew Dighi and five others.
The youth groups also called on the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to fulfill its promises to the Niger Delta region, especially the clean-up of Ogoniland and the relocation of headquarters of oil multinationals to the region, as well as the revamp of eastern seaports.
According to them, “The cleaning up of Ogoni land in line with the recommendations of UNEP Report as a template to clean-up other parts of the Niger Delta region that are polluted as well. In this respect, we strongly suggest that money should be taken from the oil block royalty to start the Ogoni clean-up.
“And in the alternative setting aside of 50percent per barrel from oil produced in Nigeria to clean-up Ogoniland and other parts of the Niger Delta.
“Implement the existing presidential directive to relocate the headquarters of multinational oil companies to the Niger Delta region. We note that this was one of the promises made by the federal government to the Niger Delta people as part of efforts at restoring peace to the region in the wake of the renewed hostilities in 2016.
“That we reject the deliberate policies of the government that have rendered moribund seaports in the Niger Delta region, namely Warri, Port Harcourt, Onne, Calabar, Sapele, Koko, Burutu. We, therefore, demand that they should be revived to boost economic activities and diversify the Niger Delta and Nigerian economy.”
The Niger Delta Youth Leaders also stated that the defective federal structure and unjust laws are responsible for the underdevelopment of the Niger Delta region, adding that for Nigeria to make progress, there must be holistic political, economic, and social restructuring of the country.
“We the Niger Delta youths demand complete resource control by the federating units of the country and payment of tax to the central government in a restructured Nigeria. We clearly state that our concept of resource control is not restricted to oil and gas resources only but to all types of resources found in different parts of the country.
“That restructuring of Nigeria would promote unity in diversity, address fears and calls for succession and enable the different parts of the country to develop at their own pace without any hindrance.
“That any Presidential Candidate in the 2019 election that do not believe and would not restructure Nigeria after the 2019 elections should not come to the Niger Delta region to campaign for votes.”