*Urges international community to make crude oil theft international crime
By Emma AMAIZE, (Reporting from The Hague,)
THE â€œNiger-Delta Peace Consolidation Conference,â€ held in The Hague , The Netherlands, by the Hope for the Niger-Delta Campaign (HNDC), ended, weekend, with a call on the international community to make crude oil theft an international offence, ensure that â€˜blood oilâ€™ is not sold on the international market andÂ Â support finger-printing of all oil sale from the Niger Delta.
The participants were emphatic that there was practically nothing going on at the moment regarding the practical development of the Niger-Delta region and that the international community should also mount pressure on the Nigerian government to fully adopt and implement the Niger Delta Technical Committee (NTDC) report, as the blueprint for the development of the Niger Delta region.
The communiquÃ© was signed among others by the national chairman of the Ijaw National Congress (INC), Dr. Atuboyedia Obianime;Â executive director of the Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Mr. Anyakwee Nsirimovu,Â for the civil society and the founder/president of the HNDC, Comrade Sunny Ofehe.
Over 100 participants, drawn from various non-governmental organizations (NGOs), civil society groups and the media from across Europe and Nigeria as well as representatives of the Dutch government, the Nigerian legislature and the Nigerian Embassy in The Netherlands, converged on the Novotel Hotel, The Hague, for the â€œNiger Delta Peace Consolidation Conferenceâ€.
They faulted the amnesty programme, as presently packaged by the Federal Government, saying, â€œThe amnesty process should be implemented within the context of the Technical Committee report, including international standards on Demobilization, De-commissioning and Rehabilitation (DDR)â€.
For sustainable democracy in the country, they called for full implementation by the Nigerian government of the report of the electoral reforms panel headed byÂ Justice Muhammadu Uwais.
The two-day conference was organized by HNDC, a non-governmental organization based in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, with the broad objective ofÂ findingÂ means of consolidating the post-amnesty programmeÂ of the Nigerian government, as well as the peace process in the oil-producing Niger DeltaÂ after years of restiveness and armed struggle.