By Emma Amaize, Warri
CHAIRMAN of the Izon-Ebe Community Task Force in Delta State, Alaowei Afro Biukeme, lamented, yesterday, that the amnesty programme of the Federal Government for militants has further worsened the economic problem ofÂ Niger-Delta, as the oil and construction companies were afraid to explore oil and undertake more projects in the region because of the poor implementation of the programme.
Speaking in an interview with Saturday Vanguard in Warri, the maritime and hotels entrepreneur, who is a gubernatorial aspirant in Delta state said, â€œ From time, I did not support the amnesty programme because I know that the government is not going to fulfil its promises, which you know is lying fallow now, nobody is even talking about it.
That amnesty programme in particular has broken Niger-Delta into pieces because the construction companies that are supposed to come, the oil companies that are supposed to be exploring oil are afraid because of the programme.
â€œRight now, the programme is creeping. If they had left amnesty alone and come up with developmental strategies, employ indigenous contractors like us to parley Julius Berger, Setraco and some other companies to start doing roads in Niger-Delta, I think that would have generated a lot of funds- that would have boost the economy because people will be working and money will be flowing.
â€œNow, the people of the Niger-Delta who you say have accepted amnesty, are they really part of the amnesty programme? They are not, like me, I am not part of the amnesty programme, my family is not part of itâ€, he said.
Alaowei Biukeme said, â€œWe canâ€™t accept amnesty when we are agitating for development, when we are agitating for good schools. Imagine from time, I have been hearing about Sinebe College, Bomadi and Bomadi Teacher Training College, which is even old enough to be a university to boost the economy of the area, education is not there and you are talking about amnesty.
â€œLook at the former Minister of Defence, Godwin Abbe from Niger-Delta, he did not do anything, the former Minister of Niger-Delta, Ufot Ekaettee did not do anything, the current Minister of Niger-Delta, Elder Godsday Orubebe, who was the Minister of State for Niger-Delta did not do anything.
The Acting president has still not done anything up till this time, so how do you think the people of Niger_Delta will witness development.
The economy of Niger_Delta is going down every day by day because Shell is not working and Chevron occupies very few contractors compared to Shell. If you count 1,000 contractors in Chevron, you can count 10 million contractors in Shell. Now, no contractor is working because things are not moving fine, their agenda is failingâ€, he asserted.