By George Onah
Port Harcourtâ€” A group, Global Peace and Relief Initiative, an NGO, has called for a proper fiscal federalism, which embodies resource control, autonomy of federating units and a massive development of oil producing states to cater for the decades of neglect and degradation of the Niger Delta.
According to the group, refusal of the federal government to enthrone true fiscal federalism may be responsible for militantsâ€™ slow response to the amnesty granted them recently by President Umaru Musa Yarâ€™Adua.
The group said in a statement issued and signed yesterday by its President, Prophet Jones Irue, that â€œuntil a policy statement is made on these issues, we doubt if we can achieve the desired peace to enable development to take place.â€
The group said it was particularly disturbed by the emerging scenario about certain people â€œwho want to take advantage of the amnesty to push a political agenda.
and they should be ignoredâ€.
It argued that ascribing the tag of militants or criminals to those fighting for a better deal in the management of resources in their land had always been rejected by the NGO, even as it doubted the sincerity of the government over the amnesty issue.
The group said it â€œsupported the position of South-South governors on the relocation of the Petroleum Training University from Warri and of the Petroleum Industry Bill which they saw as anti-Niger Delta oil producing communities.
â€œWe still hold our position on these issues. We note with gladness, that the president himself has said that the Petroleum Training University remains in Warri and that it was never relocated. We believe that there cannot be peace without justice
â€œHowever, in-spite of this denial of the offensive alleged relocation, we still urge our governors to make sure that the Institute gets what it takes to function effectively as a degree awarding collegeâ€.