Elders and leaders of South-South, the geo-political zone of President Goodluck Jonathan, weekend, called on the president to speed up development of the zone, lamenting that since his assumption of office, the people have not received “the normal fruits of their son being in power”.
The people at a general meeting of the South-South Peoples Assembly, SSPA, in Warri, Delta State, also constituted four committees to come up with the position of the people on the 1999 Constitution Amendment, Petroleum Industry Bill, Bakassi/Boundary Dispute on Oil Wells and Underhand Sale of Oil Blocs by oil multinational, Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC.
In communiqué jointly signed by the national leader of the zone and former Federal Minister of Information, Chief Edwin Clark, national chair and secretary of SSPA first civilian governor of Edo state, Chief John Odigie –Oyegun and one-time Commissioner in Bayelsa state, Chief Ayakeme Whisky respectively, said, “By principle of affirmative action, it owes the people of the South South zone the sacred duty of economic empowerment, especially through the petroleum industry, which derives mainly from the zone with all its attendant hazardous effects”.
According to the communiqué, “Contrary to the views of some misguided Nigerians, President Goodluck Jonathan, since his assumption of office, in trying to satisfy the totality of his Nigerian constituency, had not given to the South South zone the normal fruits of their son being in power, such that even the East – West road which is the route for the haulage of heavy duty equipment and petroleum products on daily basis to service the oil and gas industry has not gotten any priority attention”.
Specifically, the zone called on the government of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to, as a matter of urgency, ensure the speedy completion of the East – West Warri- Port Harcourt-Uyo-Calabar road, which has not only become impassable but currently constitutes a death-trap; and take appropriate steps to remediate our badly damaged ecology and environment by fully implementing the report of the Technical Committee on the Niger Delta.
They also urged the Federal Government to urgently demand an extension of the October 10, 2012 deadline for the completion of the handing over of the Bakassi to the Cameroons to enable the National Assembly consider and ratify the Green Tree Agreement.
The leaders, however, resolved, “To continue to build a united, cohesive and resolute South South family.”
They affirmed and solidified their “total, unalloyed and irrevocable support for President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, and his government” and consequently passed a vote of confidence in him for “his commitment to putting Nigeria on the path of sustainable growth as clearly noticed in the improved electricity supply in the country”.
They also urged President Goodluck Jonathan “to exercise his presidential powers without compromise for the growth and development of all segments of Nigeria”.
On the onshore/offshore dichotomy, they called on all Nigerians “broaching the onshore/offshore dichotomy, to in the interest of national peace, amity and cohesion jettison such provocative comments”.