There is mounting tension along the creeks and waterways of the Niger Delta region following the declaration by militant groups to dump the existing ceasefire agreed with the Federal Government and resume armed agitation in the region over the allege refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the payment of 13 per cent derivation to state governors of the region.
The militant groups through self-styled Major General Johnmark Ezonebi (aka Obama) frowned at the proposed payment of 13 percent derivation funds to state governors despite protest and suggestions that it be paid to the oil producing communities in the region in order to improve the direct welfare and infrastructural need of the oil communities in the region.
The militant groups after an emergency meeting held in Delta State, have concluded that “they will soon collapse the ceasefire agreement entered with the Federal Government since on the 21st of August 2016, if the payment of 13 per cent derivation fund continues to state governors in the region.
“And that it will be bloody in the creek if their demands are not met because they will not fold their arms and continue to tolerate the deliberate perpetual injury occasioned by the governors of the oil producing states to the people of the region who are from the oil producing communities.”
According to the militant groups,” there is serious deliberate neglect by the governors of the region despite receiving such huge amounts monthly. The people in the communities are abandoned and left to suffer while the governors live flamboyantly without human feeling for their fellow kinsmen who suffer the most hazard from the exploitation and exploiration activities from the drilling of the crude oil from the communities.
“The level of deliberate abandonment and neglect by the governors of the south-south states who are receiving over N180 billion to N200 billion yearly from the federation account as payment of 13 per cent derivation funds from the federal government on behalf of the oil producing communities in the region as part payment to develop the communities but the governors have channelled the funds into their pockets with their cronies and turn deaf ears to the people.”
Going further, Ezonebi said: “The governors have deliberately refused to use the funds to develop these oil producing communities in the creeks while leaving them in total darkness and abject poverty without any significant infrastructural development as they continue to suffer environmental pollution, degradation, exploration and exploitation activities.
“This is a sheer heartless action to oil producing communities because these governors sit on and use what belongs to the oil producing communities while the people live with no portable drinking water, no electricity, no healthcare facility, no higher institution and good roads and housing.
“But they have chosen to leave the people in excruciating poverty without any industry and no human capital empowerment. We have strongly resolved that we will soon resume fresh hostilities in the creeks in retaliation and furious protest as we advise President Buhari to henceforth stop payment of this money to the south-south governors and channel its payment to the oil producing communities that is the only way out for the interest of peace in the region.
“We want to believe that President Muhammad Buhari understands that the RNDA is making the demand to stop the payment based on the fact that oil and gas is in the exclusive legislative list of the 1999 Constitution, with oil as number 38 item on the list.”