Thursday, 31 August 2017

Niger Delta monarchs call for devolution of power, end to ASUU strike

Niger Delta monarchs call for devolution of power, end to ASUU strike


The Association of Traditional Rulers of Oil Mineral Producing Communities of Nigeria (TROMPCON) has ended its three-day National Conference and inauguration of new executive council with a charge on the federal government to quickly take steps that will address the ongoing ASUU strike. 

The three-day event which held at Eden Hotel in Eket, Akwa Ibom State, also saw the paramount Ruler of Ibeno LGA, Owong Effiong Achianga emerge the new National Chairman of TROMPCON. 

Dr. Effiong Achianga takes over from Eze Akuwueze Ikegwuruka, the Paramount Ruler of Mgbirichi/Abakuru Land, and shall lead for a period of three years. 

In his remarks at the occasion, Owong Achianga, noted that the event is designed to chart the way forward for Niger Delta States, pointing out that traditional Rulers play a vital role in the sustenance of peace in the society. He added that there’s strength in unity hence called on the federal government to ensure that issues of poverty, neglect and deprivations experienced in the Niger Delta region are tackled expeditiously. 

“The good people of this region deserve freedom from poverty, poor infrastructure such as roads, access to qualitative education, affordable houses, good sources of drinking water, amongst other things for the development and sustainable livelihood of the region.” He called on traditional rulers to be consistent and persist in the demands of their rights for the region. He reiterated the need for oil companies operating in the region to relocate their headquarters to their operational states. He thanked Governor Udom Emmanuel for approving the conference to be held in the State. 

Governor Udom Emmanuel who was represented by his Deputy, Mr. Moses Ekpo, stated that in order to strengthen the framework of governance, there is the need for the government of oil producing States, TROMPCON and the NDDC to be in one accord in order to forge a working relationship that will bring genuine and equitable benefit to the oil producing areas.

He acknowledged the role played by thy the organisation in the agitation to ensure that there is a fair deal for oil producing communities in the country. He pledged the commitment of his administration to partner with the organization in achieving a common goal. “I wish to state here that my administration is willing and ready to partner with you in achieving our mutual desire of developing our oil producing communities.”

Also speaking at the occasion, the political leader of Eket and former Minister in the federation, Chief Nduese Essien, noted that TROMPCON is the only permanent organisation that cannot be destroyed, adding that other groups come and go but TROPMCON will always remain. He called on the traditional rulers not to relent in their effort of fighting for the right of the region and should ensure that their activities and agitations gets the attention of the National Assembly. 

In a communiqué issued at the end of the three-day conference, the traditional Rulers called on the federal government to immediately end the ongoing faceoff with ASUU in order to secure the future of the country. The communiqué added that it is in total support of the present administration’s fight against corruption and other social vices in the country.

They urged the Federal Government and other funding stakeholders especially the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) to “please pay as at when due their statutory dues to the Niger Delta Development  Commission (NDDC) to enable her adequately discharge her core mandate.”

The communiqué also supported the call for fiscal federalism, restructuring and devolution of powers as well as the implementation of the recommendation of the 2014 National Conference. 

The Conference equally expressed strong displeasure over the activities of some persons “who for reasons best known to them but regrettable wanted to bring to disrepute the revered person and stool of the Oba of Benin concerning the leadership of TROMPCON.”

The major highlights of the conference was the inauguration of the new executives of TROMPCON led by HRM Owong (Dr) Effiong Bassey Archianga, JP,FCE,FCAI, the Paramount Ruler of Ibeno, Akwa State for the period of 2017 – 2019.

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