By Aniefiok Akam
The Movement for the Survival of the Ijaw Ethnic Nationality of the Niger Delta, (MOSIEND), has queried the over four hundred billion naira spent under the watch of the National Security Adviser, Babagana Mongonu, on the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) under the current government of President, Mohammed Buhari.
The group asked Mongonu to explain how and what the money was expended between 2015 to date since he has been the one in charge.
“The office of the National Security Adviser, NSA mismanaged no fewer than N400 billion appropriated to the programme between 2015- date, and we are demanding that he gave account of how the alleged funds were deployed”, the group stressed.
Speaking in a town hall meeting organised by the group on Tuesday in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital today, the President of MOSIEND, worldwide, Comrade Kennedy Tonjo West, said the group disagreed with the Amnesty report by the fact-finding committee because the stakeholders were not involved but rather done through assumptions.
West said, “We totally disagree with the Amnesty report by the fact-finding committee, the report didn’t reflect the true happenings in the programme. They have to sit with leaders and major stakeholders of the programme and discuss to fashion and proffer solutions to the challenges of the programme.
“It was lopsided, so we want to invite on a date with the committee to sit with the stakeholders, we wonder why all this didn’t happen and a report was already out.”
West, also said the if truly seven hundred and twelve billion was wasted on the programme since inception then the NSA should explain the 412 billion spend under his own watch, saying he who seeks justice should also come with clean hands.
He further questioned how the NSA got to the N712 billion figure, and also asked that the incumbent interim administrator of the programme tell the people how much was found in the treasury when he took over.
He also berated the federal government for revoking the license formerly given to the oil rich homogeneous Ijaw state for no verifiable reasons.
The group described the recent directives by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN to some northern states to mine and sell gold found in their respective states as another reason for the Ijaws in particular and by extension the Niger Delta unbearable.
“As Ijaw people, we’ve been at the receiving end of oppression and marginalization in this nation. For years, we’ve been the ones producing the mainstay of the Nigeria’s economy and yet we don’t have anything to show for it.
“We call on the Federal Government to return the marginal oil field owned by Bayelsa State, the Jerusalem of the Ijaw nation back to the state or face the consequences in 30 days time.
“If Zamfara and other Northern states could mine and sell their gold to the Central Bank of Nigeria, then the time has also come when the Ijaw people and by extension the Niger Delta people should also be allowed to manage their natural resources”, MOSIEND leader added.
On his part, Vice-President of MOSIEND, Comrade Thompson Fuoye, said the reason why they gathered was for them to speak about the many challenges faced by the people of the region, noting that MOSIEND has become the only channel to communicate to the people of the Niger Delta.