N5bn palliatives: Ex-agitators threaten protest in N/Delta over governors’ silence

Ex-agitators of Niger Delta (CEND),
Ex-agitators of Niger Delta (CEND),

Ex-agitators have expressed concerns over the failure of Niger Delta governors to provide palliatives to poor communities despite receiving N5 billion from the Federal Government.


Acting under the auspices of Coalition of Ex-agitators of Niger Delta (CEND), they said their governors seemed to have diverted the money released by President Bola Tinubu to alleviate the sufferings caused by the removal of fuel subsidy.


The Chairman of the coalition, Mr Mpakaboari Gbobo, conveyed the position of the ex-agitators in a statement issued on behalf other members in Yenagoa.


They said that whereas Tinubu was sensitive enough to make provisions for palliatives, their governors appeared unconcerned with the level of hardship in their various states, especially Bayalsa and Rivers.


“Where is our palliatives?” Gershom queried, insisting that there was no deliberate activities and programmes by the governors targeted at providing relief to the people.


“Does it mean that as usual, these governors have pocketed the money? We will never allow it to happen. We will compel them to bring out the money in a mother of all protests across the states.


“It will no longer be business as usual. Our people are suffering untold hardship while these governors are junketing in profligacy and living large without showing any concern to our problems.


“We expected the governor’s to have started deliberate programmes aimed at reaching the people with palliatives. We expected them to add reasonable amount of money to the N5 billion and float far-reaching programmes that will practically ameliorate the pains of the people.


“But they are less concerned. We can see what Borno governor is doing for his people but our entire region is quiet,” he said.


Gershom wondered why some leaders of ex-agitators, like the Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme Committee on Strategic Communications, Gen. Nature Dumale, and the Chairman/President of all first Phase Ex-Agitators in the Niger Delta region, HRH Henry Binidodogha Ekes, had remained quiet over the non-challant attitude of the governors.


“Are our leaders, the likes of Hon. Kakas, the leaders of Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), who are very close to the Presidency, including Nature Dumale, who is also the Secretary of the First Phase Ex-agitators part of the conspiracy to divert the palliative cash? All of them must speak out against these governors because when we begin our protests we will not listen to anybody,” Gershom threatened.


The statement also quoted the National Spokesman of the Coalition, Mr Ellington Bakumor, as calling on the National Security Adviser (NSA), Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Chief of Staff to the President and other relevant authorities to prevail on the governors to release the palliatives.


Meanwhile, the Bayelsa Government had announced that it would deploy part of the palliatives to augment the monthly salaries of public servants in the state for the next 12 months. (NAN)


The OPINION / COLUMN is authored by independent contributors to the National Accord Newspaper. While contributors adhere to our editorial guidelines, they are not employed by the National Accord Newspaper. The perspectives and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of the National Accord Newspaper or its staff.

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