By Emmanuel Elebeke
ABUJA—Elders of the nation under the aegis of Oil and Solid Mineral Producing Area Landlords’ Association of Nigeria, OMPALAN, have called on senior aides of President Buhari to bury their hatchet and present a common front in order to salvage the country from the menace of terrorism, corruption and all forms of lawlessness.
The leaders expressed concern for the deteriorating security situation in the country and called for urgent action to address the ugly trend before it collapses the country.
The OMPALAN leaders, who met in Abuja to appraise the security situation in the country and plan for a national workshop tagged: OMPALAN Forum for Peace and Unity in Nigeria, said that the workshop is aimed at drumming support for the rule of law and continued peace and unity of the nation.
The workshop according to them, will hold in the peaceful Imo State capital of Owerri.
The President of the association, Bishop Azogu further warned aides of President Buhari to live above board and function within the ambit of their assigned duties, saying they must show open concern for the insecurity plaguing the nation that has claimed so many lives.
Earlier in his address to the meeting which was attended by eminent Nigerians from the six geopolitical zones of the country, Bishop Azogu said: “The clamour for regional security to curb recurring incidents of security breaches across the country is gaining traction by the day. OMPALAN is rattled by the crescendo of crime wave across the Country.
“We also share in the expressed concern by leaders of the various geopolitical zones that Governors of member states should ramp up effort to safeguard life and property in their various states.”
‘‘However, OMPALAN calls for circumspection in the setting up of regional security outfits against the backdrop of mounting ethno-religious tensions and secessionist rhetoric because we feel that security outfits established on the strength of ethnic cleavages can hurt our priced national unity,’’ he said.
Continuing, Azogu said his association, OMPALAN has developed a bottom-up blueprint for sustainable peace and security in Nigeria called ‘Mining Security And Monitoring Agency Of Nigeria – MISMAN’ that is adaptable to all climes across the Country’.
The OMPALAN President said Nigeria needs a uniform and functional security outfit that will attend to peculiar security challenges in member states.
‘‘It is our expressed desire that the Federal authorities look into the merits of MISMAN as a veritable tool to navigate the Country out of murky waters and provides a conducive investment climate to launch the Country into the comity of progressive nations.
‘‘There is growing public expectations for OMPALAN to shore up its responsibility of ensuring that development agencies prospecting in local communities deliver on their Corporate Social Responsibilities. NNPC-NLNG Trade 7 Project in Borno LGA, Rivers State has regrettably disenfranchised many States in the Niger Delta region that supply the critical gas from access to participatory rights to sustainable development.
‘‘It is the contention of OMPALAN that NNPC-NLNG must comply with the global and local regulatory laws including the UNFCCC -CDN criteria of the Kyoto protocol article 12. It is pertinent to remind regulatory agencies that communities which fall within 50 km radius from source of production are entitled to accruing benefits. OMPALAN is also concerned about massive lead poisoning in the North that occur as a result of non compliance to environmental standards in mining activities’’.
On NDDC board appointment, the OMPALAN leaders also pleaded with President Buhari to appoint capable and honest persons into the new Board. He also spoke about his new book titled “But, I Saw Buhari” which seeks to present President Buhari in proper perspective according to him (the author).
Present at the meeting were: Alh Mammadu Abubakar (Vice President, Chieftaincy Affairs and Leader, North East); HRM Oba (Dr) Olubayo Adesola Windapo (Vice President, Foreign Affairs and Leader, South West); High Chief Prof Eyo Etim Nyong (National Secretary and Leader, South South); Hon Justice Andrew Okon, Rtd (Nat. Coordinator, Peace and Conflict Resolution); Alh Mukhtar Garba Abubakar (Chairman, Welfare Committee); Otumba Kojo Aruna Elewi (Trustee); Elder Boro Johnson Dafetite (Trustee); Dr (Mrs) Abimbola Odiase (Trustee); Alh Sani Shehu (Nat. Coordinator, Solid Mineral Development); Princess Ajibola (Nat. Women Leader); Chief George Bucknor (Chairman, Admn/Planning); George Ritz Anyaugo (New York Coordinator); Prince Ahmed Ntui Ogar (Director of Protocol); Barr Valentine Imoh Abiase (Nat. Coordinator, Oil and Gas); Dr. Ezeali Chilagorom – Aririguzo (Imo State Secretary).