By Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, Niger Delta
THE Reformed Niger Delta Avengers, RNDA, a splinter group of the non-operational Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, and a coalition of nine other militant groups in Niger Delta, yesterday, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to initiate mechanism that would see the Federal Government paying the 13 per cent Derivation Fund direct to the Niger Delta communities rather than state Governors. The group accused the governors of mismanaging the funds.
The militants also demanded quick release of the Gas Flare Penalty Funds to the affected oil producing communities in the creek of Niger Delta through the leadership of Host Communities of Nigeria, HOSTCOM, led by Dr Mike Emuh.
Leader of the group, self-styled, “Major General Johnmark Ezon-ebi” aka Obama, who spoke to Saturday Vanguard after a crucial meeting of the commanders at Bini River, Delta state, said:
“The Reformed Niger Delta Avengers with the coalition of the nine militant groups in the creeks urge Mr President to do the needful in order to quickly remove the 13 per cent derivation funds from the hands of the Niger Delta state governors.”
Accusing the governors of corruption and not managing the funds well, the militant asserted, “We want the money removed from them because they failed woefully to utilize the money, which amounted to trillions of naira to develop the oil communities in the creeks of Niger-Delta.
“By the relevant Section and Act of the Constitution that established 13 per cent derivation, RNDA is advocating payment of the funds to the oil producing communities in the various states that produce crude oil to be managed by the Host Communities of Nigeria, HOSTCOM,” he said.
The militant leader, who commended President Buhari for signing the state Houses of Assembly and state Judiciary Autonomous Bills into law, said RNDA was the only militant group in the region that endorsed his re-election because it was convinced of his sterling qualities, urging him to do more for the region in the next four years.
“RNDA with the coalition of the nine militant groups in the creeks want to urge all stakeholders, including traditional rulers in the Niger Delta region to support President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC Federal Government in his second term in order to enable him to usher in more infrastructural development to the Niger Delta region,” he added.
The group also commended some key stakeholders of the region, who contributed their best in supporting President Muhammadu Buhari at the just concluded presidential election in the creeks, among who were the Amayanabor of Twon Brass, HRM Diete Spiff, Chief Michael Johnny, Chief Wellington Okrika, Prof Jasper Jumbo, Hon Jude Tabai, Chief Francis Inegbeniki and HOSTCOM chair, Dr. Mike Emuh.
Ezon-ebi stated, “The victory of the president at the poll was a victory borne out of the test of integrity, zero tolerance on corruption, strict principles for the overall development of the country and his commitment to develop the Niger Delta region, which stood him tall against all the presidential candidates.”