By Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, Niger Delta
WARRI— COALITION of Riverine Deltans, CoRN, a Niger-Delta group, weekend, complained that the Federal Government, led by President Muhammadu Buhari, has abandoned development projects initiated by former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, to provide employment and develop the core Niger-Delta area.
The organisation, in a statement by the spokesperson, Mr. Meshach Bebenimibo, weekend, accused the Federal Government of deserting the Deep Sea Port project in Warri South-West Local Government Area, Delta State and Omadino-Escravos Road, which will bond Ijaw and Itsekiri and other creek communities, if completed.
It said the abandonment of the projects has aggravated the frustrations of jobless youths and made residents of the riverine areas of the core Niger-Delta hopeless.
He warned: “The agony of marginalisation in the Niger Delta is a time bomb that will consume Nigeria if not tackled.
“In the Niger Delta, there are certain projects initiated by the previous government that will better the lives of the people from the region.
“Yet, this government has decided to abandon these projects and take the money meant for these projects to execute other projects in other regions of the federation. Is it a crime for good projects to come to Niger Delta?
“We urge the Federal Government of Nigeria to quickly do the following projects that will put a smile on the faces of the core Niger Deltans (riverine people).
“President Muhammadu Buhari should carry on with the Deep Sea Port in Delta State initiated by former President Goodluck Jonathan and order immediate relocation of the Floating Dock/Ship Building Yard back to Gbaramatu Kingdom.
“Projects of this magnitude should not be allowed to be stagnant because their benefits and positive impact on the people that lay the golden egg, especially provision of employment, cannot be overemphasised.
“The people also want immediate commencement of work on the Omadino-Escravos Road. This road will further cement a better working and cordial relationship between the Ijaw and Itsekiri of Warri South and Warri South-West Local Government Area.
“Thus promoting peaceful coexistence. It will provide jobs for the teeming unemployed youths in the Niger Delta region.
“We call for the appointment of a substantive Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP, from Gbaramatu Kingdom to dampen the rising tension in the Niger Delta.
“Mr. President, it is pertinent to mention that the various operational activities of oil companies and their effects are posing great environmental, economic and health challenges to the core Niger-Deltans.
“The people are dying of different dangerous diseases and sicknesses. Aquatic lives and other sea animals are equally dying by the day in Burutu, Forcados, Gbaramatu and Bonny Island, among others.
“These are the direct results of uncontrolled effluent discharge— emission of poisonous pollutants into the atmosphere in addition to gas flaring.”