Original inhabitants of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), under the aegis of Abuja Ethnic Youth Coalition for Peace, has cautioned Niger Delta agitators against contant protests in the seat of power, over issues pertaining to crude oil revenue sharing formula.
The group noted that it was unreasonable for the agitators to always barricade offices in Abuja to register their displeasure when government has offices in the region and those affected reside in South South
Its National President, Shekwonugaza Yakubu, during a protest at the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Council (NUPRC) Headquarters, in Abuja, yesterday, said: “Our assembly here today is underscored by a pressing need for reformation in how Niger-Delta regional matters are addressed.
“We call upon all stakeholders in the Niger Delta, particularly those from oil-producing communities, to reconsider the habitual convening in Abuja for meetings that bear no direct relevance to the indigenous people of Abuja.
“This practice not only incurs unnecessary costs but also distances the decision-making process from the very people it affects. We urge the Chief Executive Officer of the NUPRC, Mr Gbenga Komolafe, to further the government’s admirable efforts in cost-cutting and plugging financial leakages by refraining from hosting such meetings in Abuja.
“The NUPRC has a fully operational facility in Warri, Delta State, which should serve as the primary venue for these critical discussions.
“Our intention was to engage with the concerned stakeholders in person this morning, however, in their absence, we are compelled to communicate our position through the media, trusting that our message will resonate with the intended audience.
“It is a common practice for Northern leaders to convene in Kaduna, their regional bastion, ensuring that their deliberations are rooted in the context of their locality.
“The Niger Delta stakeholders should follow suit, embracing the opportunity to hold discussions in their own terrain. Their meetings should be conducted with dignity and transparency, allowing for a direct interaction with their people.
“Moreover, convening within the Niger Delta would foster a greater sense of ownership and participation among community members.
“It would encourage local engagement and ensure that the voices of those most impacted by the oil industry are heard and considered.
“This proximity to the heart of the issues would also facilitate quicker resolution of challenges, allowing for the development of more relevant and effective strategies.
“It is time to align stakeholders’ actions with their aspirations and to lead by example in embracing the principles of self-governance and accountability.
“By holding their meetings within the Niger Delta, they can demonstrate a commitment to addressing their region’s challenges on the people’s own terms, and only then present their consolidated positions to the federal government in Abuja.
“The significance of this call extends beyond mere logistics; it embodies a fundamental shift towards empowering the people and fostering a sense of ownership over decisions that shape their collective future.
“We implore all stakeholders to heed this call and support the movement for the localization of their discussions and decision-making processes.”