28 February 2019, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt — Niger Delta women under the auspices of Kalabari-Ijaw Mothers and Daughters, have called urgent restructuring of the country to pave the way for rapid development of the region and her people.
The women while briefing newsmen in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, also demanded the scrapping of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, the Presidential Amnesty Program, and the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.
Conveners of the group, Ms. Ankio Briggs and Ms. Ibiba Donpedro, who described the above-named government institutions as Federal agencies of underdevelopment, explained that
They called on state governors in the Niger Delta region to set up alternative agencies that would carter for the infrastructural, educational, vocational and other needs of the people of the region.
“We reassert our demand for the restructuring of Nigeria. Once the process of restructuring is activated, we insist on the dismantling of all Federal agencies of underdevelopment in the Niger Delta as a first step to begin the process of rebuilding the Nigerian polity, as the only sustainable path to peace, security, and development, in what is an otherwise failed country, Nigeria.
“In place of these federal agencies of underdevelopment, among them the Presidential Amnesty Program, Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC and the Ministry of Nigeria Delta Affairs.
“We call on the governors of the Niger Delta States to work jointly to create with full uninterrupted funding with Niger Delta resources, homegrown alternative agencies for human and infrastructural development, youth education and vocational skills, business set up agencies, managed by Niger Delta people’s. As a corollary to this, we call for secondary school and university scholarships to all children of the Niger Delta.”
The Ijaw women who were reacting to the wanton killings in the Niger Delta as a result of last Saturday’s Presidential election regretted that the region was being militarized for protection of the Federal Government’s interest in her oil and gas resources.
“As people of the Niger Delta, we seriously object to the declaration of Rivers State and the Niger Delta as war zone at every election. It is bad enough that the region is heavily military to protect the Federal Government interest in oil, an interest not matched with the development of the oil-bearing communities.
“We, mothers and daughters of Kalabari/Ijaw hereby affirm our age long preference and campaigns for the restructuring of Nigeria as the way out of the violent scramble for power during elections and decades-long massive looting of resources of Ijaw and the Niger Delta, and the callous neglect of the needs and aspirations of the ordinary citizens.”