ABUJA- AS the National Conference continues discussions on national issues to strengthen unity, an ex-militant has called on delegates to tackle the issue of revenue derivation.
The call was made by the National Secretary, Third Phase Amnesty for Ex-militants, Comrade Tam Odogwu, while speaking with Sweetcrude, on the national conference.
Odogwu said delegates should see the national conference as a rare opportunity in a lifetime that should be used properly to move Nigeria forward by correcting the wrongs and sentiments that had bewitched the nationâ€™s progress since independence in 1960.
Odogwu said: â€œWe the Niger Delta Ex-agitators urge the National Conference Chairman, Justice Idris Kutigi and all 492 delegates to use this rare opportunity to correct and make right every error or mistake that the country is facing right now as a result of egocentric and ethnic sentiments put before national interest.
â€œWe are peace loving people and also want to appeal to the confab committee to look more into the ethnic and minority issues and especially that of revenue derivation formula. This had been a burning issue that had caused restiveness in the Niger Delta and underdevelopment due to unfair treatment meted out by past administrations to the people and their resources.
â€œThis is not only a Niger Delta challenge but national because we believe that where the nation generates revenue for national development should be accorded developmental priority, whether in the Northern or Southern parts of the country. So we urge the delegates to use their vast knowledge and understanding to thoroughly deal with the issue and lay it to rest.â€
According to Odogwu, the United States of America, USA, had a similar conference that made it a better and progressing country in the world today, adding that with the calibre of persons representing various segments of the country, better results will emerge despite the little hitches being experienced currently.
He also commended the wisdom and understanding of President Goodluck Jonathan for coming up with the conference after celebrating 100 years of the nationâ€™s amalgamation, and creating the opportunity for Nigeria and Nigerians to address lingering national issues.
â€œWe commend President Goodluck Jonathan for the great wisdom and understanding to grant this national conference in order to reposition and restructure the Nigeria entity again for another 100 years ahead. And we express satisfaction for the selection of delegates for this epoch making conference. We pray God to increase his wisdom to address more national issues,â€ Odogwu stated