By Emma Arubi
WARRI â€” ITSEKIRI Leaders of Thought yesterday tasked President Musa Yar â€˜Adua on his amnesty pronouncement to militants, calling on the Federal Government to consider the rebuilding of all destroyed communities and resettling of displaced persons in the Niger Delta from 1997 till date.
In a statement made available to newsmen in Warri, they recalled that there had been no peace in the region that is home to many ethnic nationalities like the Edo, Urhobo, Itsekiri, Isoko, Ijaw, Ibibio, Annang, Ikwerre, Ogoni and Efik since 1997, noting that there could not be development when there is no peace.
They contended that the neglect of the region led to avoidable inter-ethnic conflicts that led to destructions of several communities and stressed that the conflict in their proper context may be seen as transferred aggression because the Niger Delta neighbours all have common problems.
The statement signed by Chiefs Ogbite Edodo, Isaac Jemide, Madam Florence Rewane, Hope Harriman and Messrs John Ayomike, John Eyiangho and Edward Opoko on behalf of the Itsekiri ethnic nationality, stated conditions to be met as part of the amnesty package for permanentÂ peace to reign in the entire region to include, amongst others;Â the building of bridges and roads in the region with particular emphasis onÂ Omadino-Obodo-Okerenghigho-Ubefan-Ogidigben, Warri Urban-Ode-Itsekiri, Koko-Ogheye-Lekki roads as well as social and health infrastructure.
According to the statement, the leaders further called for greater local autonomy for the component ethnicities, fiscal federalism that ensures greater percentage of funds at least 50 per cent to oil producing states/homelands and enforcement of law and order for peace to reign in the region.