Breaking News

Group calls for true federalism

By George Onah
Port Harcourt— 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 militants’ slow response to the amnesty granted them recently by President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.

The group said in a statement issued and signed yesterday by its President, Prophet Jones Irue, that “until a policy statement is made on these issues, we doubt if we can achieve the desired peace to enable development to take place.”

The group said it was particularly disturbed by the emerging scenario about certain people “who want to take advantage of the amnesty to push a political agenda.
and they should be ignored”.

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 “supported 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.

“We 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

“However, 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 college”.


Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.