By Tony Edike
ENUGUâ€”THE All ProgressivesÂ Grand Alliance (APGA) said yesterday that the amnesty granted militants in the Niger Delta region by the Federal Government may not be the solution to the crisis, adding that the people of the area should be allowed to freely elect leaders, who will represent them at all levels of governance.
National Chairman of the party, Chief Victor Umeh told Vanguard in Enugu, that though the presidency granted the amnesty with good intentions, the only feasible solution to the problem lies in the ability of the Federal Government to give the people freedom to choose theirÂ leaders in a credible, free and fair contest.
He noted that the leadership of the zone both at the States and National Assemblies had been imposed on the people from Abuja in the past, leading to bad governance, high level corruption and underdevelopment of the zone by people who are only interested in themselves.
According to him, when the people of the region including the militants and their supporters are given the liberties to elect leaders who would be accountable to them, the restiveness and underdevelopment witnessed in past years would be eliminated.
Umeh said, â€œso much money goes to the Niger Delta every month in terms of Allocation, yet there is still restiveness and underdevelopment in the region.Â If the people of the region had been allowed to freely elect their leaders,
people who have compassion for the people of the zone, their problems will likely be addressed.
â€œThey have been imposing Governors and legislators on the people of the zone from Abuja in the past. Let them conduct credible, free and fair election and allow the people of the zone to elect their representatives, Governors and senators and the region will be transformed.
â€œIt is a tragedy that when leaders are imposed on the people at the end of their services, they relocate outside of the zone.Â It goes to show that there is a gap between the leaders and the people and that is why they donâ€™t live together.Â So they should allow them to elect their leaders.
If they allow them to choose their leaders, it is possible that even the members of militant groups and all the people leading the agitations in the Niger Delta will
sweep the pools.