Niger Delta: MOSOP, Activists fault Amnesty Prog


THE Ogoni mass organisation, Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) and some environmental, pro-democracy and human rights activists in the Niger Delta, have faulted the Federal Government implementation of the amnesty programme to repentant militants.

They want the programme to be implemented in line with the recommendations of the Niger Delta Technical Committee. The committee was led by Mr. Ledum Mitee, the MOSOP President.

The Ogoni group and activists are also urging government to be more responsive to the plights of the peoples of the oil and gas region.

These facts are contained in a three-page communique wired to AkanimoReports on Tuesday at the end of their one-day awareness conference on the Report of the Niger Delta Technical Committee.

Participants at the confab included community representatives, youths, women and civil society actors who were drawn from different ethnic nationalities in the region. The event which was organised by MOSOP, brainstormed on the necessity for addressing the recommendations of the report.

The conference was chaired by Anyakwee Nsirimovu - a member of the Niger Delta Technical Committee and Chair of the Niger Delta Civil Society

The communique which was signed by Patterson Ogon, as Chairman, Sunny Zorvah, and three others as members of the drafting panel, said participants however, observed as follows:

1.That the crisis of underdevelopment in the Niger Delta region is a manifestation of poor resource management occasioned by corruption and bad governance;

2.That government white paper on the report is yet to be released two years after it was submitted to the federal government;

3.That there is lack of political will on the part of the government to implement the report;

4.That there is low awareness by the civil populace on the existence and recommendations of the report;

5.That the development aspirations of the niger delta region has remained unaddressed and is daily deteriorating;

6.Government has failed to take proactive steps in the implementation of the report since it was submitted in 2008;

7.That the silence of the federal, states and local governments in driving the key recommendations of the report is unhealthy and has further impoverished the Niger delta region.

8.That the implementation of the amnesty plan by the federal government has failed to simultaneously address development options in the region long after disarmament was implemented.

9.That the amnesty programme falls far short of the recommendation of the report;

10.Conferees commended the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People for creating a platform for the discussion of the report.

Accordingly, the conference resolved that:
* Civil Society actors and community representatives should make formal representations to the President, development partners and embassies in the country on the relevance of the Niger Delta Technical Committee Report in addressing the Niger Delta crises.

* Civil Society and development actors should review the report and determine what has being done so far;

* civil society and media organizations should engage in the mobilization of the civic populace on their role in the implementation of the report;

* Members of the Committee and other stakeholders should take steps to commence legal actions to compel the Federal Government to implement the recommendations of the report;

* Civil Society and development partners should engage in stakeholders mapping and analysis of the report to identify their roles in the implementation;

* Periodic policy briefs should be sent to government officials on their roles in the implementation of the report;

* Civil society should establish a strong partnership with the media in awareness creation and sensitization of the public;

* The Federal Government should implement the amnesty programme in line with the recommendations of the technical committee report;

* Civil Society groups should stick to the Niger Delta Technical Committee Report as an issue for campaigns in the forth coming general elections;

* Government and its agencies to be more responsive to the plights of the citizens of the region;

* Representatives of the Niger Delta in government at all levels to step up efforts to actualize the implementation of the report as this will quicken the pace of development in the region;

* Civil society actors should mobilize the populace to a peaceful rally in all states of the region to remind the state governments of their roles in the full implementations of the report.

Meanwhile, the conference thanked MOSOP for producing copies of the report and for providing Civil Society Organizations with the opportunity to

discuss it.
They also called on development partners to support the mass production of the report in more simplified version and local languages of the region.