My en­counter with Niger Delta Avengers - Dalung

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From Lami Sadiq, Jos

The Min­is­ter of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung, at the week­end nar­rated how he trav­elled to Oporoza in Gbara­matu king­dom in Delta State for a meet­ing with the mil­i­tant group, Niger Delta Avengers (NDA).

Dalung who spoke to a se­lected group of jour­nal­ists at the end of a stake­holder’s meet­ing of the South­ern sen­a­to­rial zone of Plateau State in Shen­dam, said he took a two-hour jour­ney on the sea to Oporoza in Gbara­matu king­dom where he met with the lead­er­ship of the NDA who gave him a sealed hand­writ­ten let­ter to de­liver to Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari.

He said, “On reach­ing the com­mu­nity af­ter the twohour jour­ney on the high sea, I met with the mem­bers of the com­mu­ni­ties who told me that their dream was to be in­cluded in the Nige­rian project, that the ed­u­ca­tion fa­cil­i­ties and other ba­sic so­cial ameni­ties are al­most non-ex­is­tent in the com­mu­ni­ties. They also raised con­cern of inces­sant at­tacks by the Nige­rian Mil­i­tary.”

The Min­is­ter said he took the trip last Wed­nes­day as part of fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s com­mit­ment to good gov­er­nance and his strong con­cern for the Nige­rian youths, adding, “As a youth min­is­ter, I know there the Avengers are mostly youths who have po­ten­tials to be great cit­i­zens of this coun­try.”

Dalung stated that af­ter meet­ing with the com­mu­ni­ties, he was es­corted by the Niger Delta am­bas­sadors to the lead­er­ship of Avengers who gave him a hand-writ­ten let­ter spec­i­fy­ing their de­mands which he said he was yet to present to the Pres­i­dent.

Al­though the Min­is­ter said he did not un­seal the let­ter, he said the Avengers had raised three im­por­tant is­sues to him; “The is­sues in­clude the Niger-Delta Mar­itime Univer­sity, pipe­line com­mu­nity polic­ing which they said the gov­ern­ment had de­nied them, and the in­abil­ity of the gov­ern­ment to con­tinue with the amnesty pro­gramme es­tab­lished by former Pres­i­dent Umaru Musa Yará­dua Yar’Adua.”

While speak­ing on the level of degra­da­tion and poverty in the area, he said past ad­min­is­tra­tions had been un­just to the Niger-Delta com­mu­ni­ties, adding, “Af­ter go­ing round some of the com­mu­ni­ties, I no­ticed that gov­ern­ment projects were al­most non-ex­is­tent. I saw a sec­ondary school sign­board some­where but the school is yet to be de­vel­oped, the com­mu­nity has a clinic but still at the foun­da­tion level and a bore­hole that is not func­tional.”

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