Simon Utebor, Yenagoa
An Ijaw group, the Movement for the Survival of Izon Ethnic Nationality in the Niger Delta (MOSIEND), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly to stay action on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) budget for 2021.
National President of MOSIEND, Mr. Kennedy Tonjo-West, made this call on Tuesday during the official inauguration of the national executive members of the group, which held in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
Tonjo-West expressed displeasure that from the 2019 budget, one could not trace any project to any community in the Niger Delta where the fund was expended and further called on Buhari to urgently constitute a substantive board for the commission.
He said the substantive board was necessary so that Niger Delta people could engage the NDDC, know how much is appropriated to the various communities, and also hold the commission responsible whenever the need arises.
He stated that the leadership of MOSIEND would engage the Federal Government in many areas, especially on some extant laws that do not protect the interest of the Ijaw ethnic nationality and the entire people of the Niger Delta.
Tonjo-West noted that the Ijaw nation was totally against the Water Resources Bill because it was targeted at impoverishing the Ijaw.
He stated that they were no longer satisfied with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and also called on the international community and the Nigerian state to take note that the Ijaws wanted a referendum.
The MOSIEND National President said the referendum was necessary to know the direction of the Niger Delta people, noting that if the country was to remain as one entity, there was the need for a fresh constitution which would give total resource ownership to Niger Deltans, as well as justice and fairness to all.
He said the Ijaw nation was no longer comfortable with the 13 percent derivation to oil-producing communities, and also called on governors of the Niger Delta region and other critical stakeholders to open their doors for engagement with MOSIEND.
Tonjo-West frowned on the recent increase in fuel price, and also assured the region that MOSIEND would the over 40 ethnic nationalities within the Niger Delta region to begin the process of advancing the liberation of the region.
The just inaugurated members of the National Executive council of MOSIEND are Kennedy Tonjo West, President; Thompson Robert Fuoye, Vice President; Ambassador Cotterel Amain, Secretary; Charles Omusuku, spokesman and Chief Henry Nabena, Treasurer.
Others are Prince Amaibi Hornby, Financial Secretary; Tonbra Kasikoro Klioprite, Woman Leader; Alhaji Barasei Amaigo Brown, Mobilization Officer; Opukeme Obubor, Director of Operations; and Dimieari Pepple, Deputy National Organising Secretary, among others.