By Sola Mark, Lagos
Renowned Niger Delta human rights activist, Comrade Daniel Ezekiel has called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to relocate headquarters of oil multinational companies to Niger Delta region without further delay.
This is coming on the heels of the president’s matching order, instructing the immediate relocation of headquarters of FAAN and other agencies to Lagos on Thursday.
The statement reads, “l know it is the prerogative of Mr. President to run the country the best way he feels ,which will bring smiles unto the faces of the citizens. Again, those of us who are stakeholders in this project call Nigeria should also be allowed to have a say how we should be governed.
I have watched with perplexity in the last 48 hours the speed with which some key government agencies have been relocated to Lagos State from the Federal capital territory, Abuja.
“I have no issue with such relocations if Mr. President feel moving them back to Lagos, where its services are best needed is right step.
My concern is why this same express presidential order not applicable to Niger Delta region?.
In the course of armed agitation in the region, most of the muti- national companies moved their headquarters to Lagos, citing insecurity caused by activities of armed agitators as an excuse.
Since 2009 when late president, Alhaji Musa Yar’adua came with Amnesty program, which was well received by all and sundry, peace has returned to the region.
“As the spokesperson of Niger Delta youths in DSS custody then, l learnt that Papa Edwin Clark led PANDEF made return of these companies back to Niger Delta, a key demand among what they presented to the federal government.
Since then, successive governments had turned deaf ear to this out cry.
Am using this platform to appeal to good conscience of Mr. President that he should also give matching order to the muti-national companies to return to base where they are making money and their presence is highly needed, like the way His Excellency feel FAAN and other agencies should be in Lagos where the market is.
“Though, some people are saying that your move has ethnic undertone, but l will not wants to believe that because your record as a democrat is well known.
His Excellency, the issue of insecurity that prompted their departure from the region is no longer tenable because that reason has become a past tense.
Finally speaking, am calling on Papa Edwin Clark, INC, IPDI and IYC to appeal to Mr. President to do the needful by extending operation go back to the basis to muti-national oil companies operating in the Niger Delta, because what is good for the goose is equally good for the gander”.