By Tony Nyong
Uyo—Monarchs in the South South region ended their two days retreat in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, stressing the need for the issues of fiscal federalism and resource control to be resolved as recommended by the Technical Committee on the Niger Delta.
The royal fathers according to a communique, read by the chairman of the South-South Monarchs’ Forum, HRM King Edmund Dr. M. Daukoru, Mingi XII , observed that the nmnesty initiative of the Federal Government was a welcome development that had helped to restore peace to the Niger Delta.
“Beyond the amnesty, the fundamental issues of fiscal federalism/resource control should be resolved through the upward review of the derivation principle as recommended by the Technical Committee on the Niger Delta.”
They further observed that the Goodluck Jonathan and Mohammed Sambo presidency was acceptable, as they are capable of steering the ship of the nation to change the plight of the citizenry and that they should freely exercise their fundamental rights to contest in the next election to sustain and consolidate the progress made so far in their service to the fatherland.
They noted that for there to be a free and fair elections, the election should be based on the principle of one man one vote, free of violence, intimidation or rigging.
Other points of the communiqué were as follows: that traditional rulers should, without being partisan, sensitize their subjects about the forthcoming registration exercise and the elections. That traditional rulers should be empowered through the constitutionalisation of their specific roles; and that in order to achieve their aspiration for constitutional empowerment, the South-south Monarchs’ Forum should network with the organizations of monarchs of the other geo=political zones in the country.
The theme of the retreat was “Strengthening Security & Co-operation for peace and Development in the Niger Delta Region.” There were four sub-themes with the discussion sessions being chaired differently by HRM Emmanuel Sideso, Abe I- Ovie of Uwie, HRM King Prof. T. J. T Princewill Amachree XI – Amanyanabo of Kalabari, His Eminence Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V- Obong of Calabar and HRE King Alfred Diete Spiff-Seriyali II- Amanyanabo of Twon Brass.