Ijaw communities have called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly to stop the current Interim Management Committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) from operating the 2020 Budget.
The communities under the auspices of the Movement for the Survival of Izon Ethnic Nationality in the Niger Delta, (MOSIEND) said the IMC lacked the competence and prudence to deploy resources accruing to the commission.
The new National President of MOSIEND, Amb. Kennedy Tonjo West, who spoke at the weekend during the official inauguration of the National Executive members of the forum, said they were displeased with the implementation of the 2019 budget by the IMC.
West particularly said there was no project in any Ijaw community tied to the 2019 budget and wondered how the commission spent the funds contained in the budget.
He said only a substantive board of NDDC should be allowed to implement subsequent budgets and appealed to Buhari to scrap the IMC and appoint a substantive board.
“This is necessary, so that Niger Deltans can engage the NDDC, know how much is approved to the various communities and also hold the commission responsible whenever the need arises.
“The leadership of MOSIEND will engage the Federal Government in many areas, especially on some extant laws that do not protect the interest of the Ijaw ethnic nationality and the entire people of the Niger Delta,” he said.
West noted that the Ijaw communities were totally against the Water Resources Bill currently in the National Assembly as it was targeted at impoverishing the Ijaw.
He said the Ijaw nationality wanted a referendum to renegotiate its future in the country insisting that there was an urgent need for a fresh constitution.
“The referendum is necessary to know the direction of the Niger Delta people. If the country is to remain as one entity, there is need for a fresh constitution which will give 100 per cent resource ownership to Niger Deltans, as well as justice and fairness to all.
“The Ijaw nation is no longer comfortable with the 13 per cent derivation to oil producing communities. We call on governors of the Niger Delta region and other critical stakeholders to open their doors for engagement with MOSIEND.
“We frown at the recent increase in fuel price. MOSIEND will engage the over 40 ethnic nationalities within the Niger Delta region to begin the process of advancing the liberation of the region.”
At least 13 persons were inaugurated as executive committee members of MOSIEND with West as its National President; Cotteral Amain, Secretary and Charles Omusuku Spokesperson.