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S-SouthPeoples Assembly, FG set for showdown

UYO—South-South Peoples Assembly (SSPA) leaders and federal government may be heading for a showdown over government’s post-amnesty plan, the Petroleum Industry Bill, and the lopsided promotion of people in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Rising from a meeting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, yesterday, the leaders threatened to give a damning verdict and take hard-line postures should President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua fail to heed the call for the reversal of the continued marginalization of the people of the Niger Delta.

The forum, led by Chief Edwin Clarke,  demanded that the oil and gas resources in the area must be controlled by  indigenes of the area.

Chief E.K. Clark also decried what he called the meddlesomeness of government, recalling that the region did not interfere with the resources of the North during the years of the groundnut pyramid and cocoa belt of the South-West.

Recalling how the Niger Delta was abandoned during the constitutional conference and the agitation for 50 percent derivation, the Ijaw leader called for the implementation of the Ledum Mitee-led committee report.

He accused the Federal Government of playing pranks with several recommendations of the various committees on the solution to the problems of the region.

But playing host to the SSPA leaders, Akwa Ibom state governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio, lamented the obnoxious policies of the Federal Government, noting that these were capable of threatening  the post-amnesty programme.

He expressed concern over the premature retirement of an Assistant Comptroller of customs, an Akwa Ibom indigene, as one of the cases that point to the marginalization agenda.

Akpabio noted that although the position of the South-South governors was not confrontational, the federal government should show sincerity on the entire issue.


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