Ayade, Obaseki allege FG’s neglect of South-South region

Ben Ayede
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PANDEF, N’Delta govs’ synergy crucial for dev, says Diri

Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, and his Edo counterpart, , have accused the Federal Government of neglecting the South South geo-political zone.

They implored the people of South South to come together and speak with one voice on injustices done to the region, especially the ceding of Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Christian Ita, stated yesterday that Ayade regretted that “the region lays the golden egg yet suffers unspeakable deprivation in the Nigeria project.”The governor was speaking while receiving Obaseki in his office in Calabar.

“The South South is in crisis. We are the greatest generators of the revenue of this country, yet you cannot come from Uyo to Calabar by road. We must tackle such fundamental issues.

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“Our carnival is suffering because people cannot come in. Our seaport is suffering because it cannot be dredged. We cannot, as a region, sit back and watch this happen,” Ayade said.

The governor pledged to work towards the revival of the South South regional body known as the BRACED Commission, which is an acronym for the six states in the zone.

IN the same vein, Governor, Douye Diri, has stressed the need for Niger Delta governors and the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) to work together to move the region forward.

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Speaking in Government House, Yenagoa, when he hosted the PANDEF delegation led by its National Chairman, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga (rtd.), Diri noted that over the years, individuals from other regions had exploited the division in the Niger Delta to further impoverish the people. He emphasised that time had come for Niger Deltans to speak with one voice.

In a statement by his spokesman, Daniel Alabrah, the governor lauded the formation of PANDEF, which he said would help unite people of the region and foster development.

He further stated that the synergy between the governors and PANDEF would address the developmental challenges of the region, and appealed to elders of the region to intervene in the conflict between Ijaw communities in Bayelsa and neighbouring Rivers State to amicably resolve the issues.

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On the request by PANDEF for governors to ensure the Water Resources Bill before the National Assembly does not see the light of day, the Bayelsa helmsman said the governors were already taking steps in that regard and expressed optimism that the bill would not sail through. Diri renewed his advocacy for an upward review of the 13 per cent derivation to Niger Delta states to promote fairness.

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