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South-South Not Interested In Breaking Away From Nigeria, This Is What They Want- Akpabio tells UN

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South-South Not Interested In Breaking Away From Nigeria, This Is What They Want- Akpabio tells UN

Senator Akpabio tells UN that South-South Not Interested In Breaking Away From Nigeria, This Is What They Want

The people of the south-south geo-political zone of Nigeria are not interested in any form of secession, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs has said.

Senator Godswill Akpabio made the comment while receiving applause from the United Nations over the continuous peace in the Niger Delta region.

“Let me inform you here that the south-south are not interested in any form of secession,” Akpabio told Deputy Secretary-General of the UN, Hajia Amina Mohammed. “Our stakeholders have said so repeatedly and we stand by that.”

The former Akwa Ibom governor however called on the UN to “assist the Niger Delta people in the area of security, provision of infrastructure and empowerment of our teeming youth”.

His comments come weeks after a coalition of groups from Akwa Ibom – joining others in the other parts of the country – demanded that the oil-rich state be granted the status of an independent nation, Ibom Peoples Republic.

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“We demand an end to the political and economic ‘colonisation’ of Akwa Ibom by the Nigerian State,” the group, Akwa Ibom Leaders May22 Coalition, said in the communique. “We must honour our children and grandchildren in Akwa Ibom, Nigeria and the Diaspora by seeking for an establishment of an independent, democratic Akwa Ibom Nation in strict accordance with the international statutes and conventions of the United Nations.”

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South-South Not Interested In Breaking Away From Nigeria

The appeal was filed at the UN by Offiong Aqua, a US-based professor, who led a march to the premises of the organisation in New York, the United States.

Meanwhile, the Akwa Ibom State Government – led by Deacon Udom Emmanuel – said it was behind Nigeria’s quest to remain one.

South-South Not Interested In Breaking Away From Nigeria

South-South Not Interested
South-South Not Interested In Breaking Away From Nigeria

On Tuesday 6 July during Mohammed’s courtesy visit to the Minister in his office, she said: “We must continue to invest in peace and not take it for granted”.

The former Minister of Environment, before her international engagement, went on: “The Niger Delta Region has a special place in my heart because I was deeply involved in the granting of Amnesty to former militants in the region by former president Umar Yar’adua. I must commend the Minister for the sustained peace in the region.”

South-South Not Interested In Breaking Away From Nigeria

Speaking further, the deputy UN Scribe noted that, “the UN agenda for the Nations must also be seen in the Niger Delta, and we would be very happy to collaborate with the Niger Delta Ministry.

She added that the Ministry needs very strong institutions to drive home the goals and objectives that were set by those who established the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

Earlier in his welcome speech, Akpabio described the visit of the Deputy UN Scribe as a homecoming of someone who did a lot for the region in the area of environment and security.

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The former Akwa Ibom governor added: “The region that you did so much for, is today the most peaceful in Nigeria, a feat achieved through engagement of strategic stakeholders whenever we noticed any slight sign of discontent.”

South-South Not Interested In Breaking Away From Nigeria

Speaking further, Akpabio said, “President Mohammadu Buhari has done so well for the region, through adequate funding of interventionist agencies, because of his committed interest in the development of the region and that was why, when the south-south governors met with the president and demanded an audit of the account of NDDC because they believed so much has been released to the agency in the past and nothing on ground to show for it, he immediately acceded to their request by ordering a forensic audit into the finance of the commission.”

Akpabio disclosed further that, “the interim report on the auditing of the NDDC account is very revealing. Over twelve thousand, one hundred and twenty-eight (12,128) projects with no clear-cut ownership, were built and abandoned and they all became sanctuaries for hoodlum and kidnappers.”

South-South Not Interested In Breaking Away From Nigeria

“In order to stop this anomaly, we have developed within the ministry, a system called Strategic Implementation Work Plan, where whatever is on the ground is captured to avoid duplication of projects,” he stressed.

The president, Akpabio disclosed, “is determined to commission the East-West road by next year and have just commissioned the 25-year-old abandoned headquarters building of the NDDC.”

South-South Not Interested In Breaking Away From Nigeria

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