*Back Niger Delta Elders’ 16-point demand from Buhari
By Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
Youths of the Niger Delta region have said they were satisfied with the 16-point demand presented by the Pan-Niger Delta Forum in its meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari as a means of developing the region.
They however said some demands like the federal government’s granting of oil and gas blocks should rather be expanded to cover communities of the entire Niger Delta as simply giving a few individuals from the Niger Delta oil and gas blocks will not create the wealth need to move the region forward.
In a communique issued at the end of its emergency conference in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State, last weekend and made available to THISDAY in Port Harcourt, the youths, under the aegis of Niger Delta Youth Association (NDYA), commended the elders for collapsing all other interest groups into the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PNDEF) in order to have a common front to engage the federal government for the advancement, development and survival of the region.
The communique, which was signed by the President, Comrade Victor James; Vice President, Comrade Ibisio Harry; spokesman, Comrade Gabriel Unyeowaji, and seven others also endorsed some of the 16-point demand of the elders, ranging from the Maritime University at Okrenkoko in Delta State, to the restructuring of the Amnesty Programme, the opening up of Warri, Calabar and Port Harcourt ports as international ports and the cleaning up of the entire Niger Delta wherever pollution is found.