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Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Nigeria: Akpabio Says Governors' Position Not Confrontational


Akpabio S’South Govs’ Position Not Confrontational

From Okon Bassey in Uyo, 08.04.2009
Courtesy of Nigeria's ThisDay Newspaper

Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, yesterday advised the Federal Government not to see the position of the governors and leaders of the South-south states as confrontational, saying the citizens are now alert following continuous marginalisation of the zone.

Akpabio spoke while responding to a speech by Chief Edwin Clark at a meeting he held with the leaders and elders of the Niger Delta region in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State Capital.

Clark had, at the meeting, said that the period of marginalisation of the people of the region by the government at the centre was over, adding leaders and elders of the region are prepared to back the governors of the region on any position to correct years of injustice and marginalisation.

Clark, who led the team, expressed dismay that several reports churned out by various committees had been forwarded to the Federal Government but nothing happened.

“Where are we going from here, reports upon reports have been thrown into the dust bin, If they have been implemented, it would have acted as a very good post-amnesty plan, ” he lamented.

"If Ledium Mitee report was implemented," he said, "most of the problems of the Niger Delta would have have been taken care of," wondering why the Federal Government is still sitting on the report.

The elder statesman recalled that during the constitutional conference, "50 per cent derivation was demanded, but they walked out on us," asking that now that the boys in the creeks have accepted amnesty,"what would be their fall back at the end in two months time.”

Clark posited that as Nigerians, true federalism must now be implemented, seeking to know why some people in the country should parade themselves as the owner of Nigeria while the region that provides wealth of the nation is being sidelined in the scheme of things.

“Mr. Governor, can you believe that in the just concluded NNPC reorganisation, of the 24 promotions, the Niger Delta was given only three slots while the North was given 21 slots.

“Besides, we have on record that, the panel that carried out the reorganisation did not have anybody from the Niger Delta or South- South”, Clark complained.

According to him, the leaders and elders of the region are solidly behind the Niger Delta governor’s decision on the anti Federal Government's stand on the Niger Delta region.

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