28th July, 2010
A member of the Committee set up by the Federal Government to look into the unrest in the Niger Delta region of the country, Tony Uranta, has raised alarm over the rate at which arms are being brought into the country.
Uranta, who has been a force in the Niger Delta struggle, told P.M.NEWS that guns and other weapons were being brought into the country daily.
He added that the militants would soon return, stressing that this time the government would not be able to curtail their activities.
â€œWe have intelligence reports that has been given to us by our nationals in the different villages and that is confirmed by satellite images that are available to the western world and shown to us that new arms are already springing up in the region.
â€œWe know that the channels through which arms were flowing in were never blocked at the end of 4 October last year, the deadline for submission of guns.
â€œWe also know that General Farra, who submitted the highest number of arms said that there were more people and arms in the creeks.
â€œWe have bluntly declared that the amnesty declaration was bound to fail, the post amnesty process was going to be nothing but putting a bandage on a cancerous sore, because the fundamental grievances that led to uprising and unrest in the first place have not even been addressed,â€ he said.
Uranta told P.M.NEWS that he would only vote for Jonathan if he could touch the life of the ordinary man by delivering on some basic challenges facing the country.
Hear him: â€œI will not vote for Goodluck Jonathan if he does not deliver during this short period that he has. We should not expect miracles from him, but he needs to deliver just one dividend and I am not talking about free and fair elections because that would be too late to determine why he should run. I am saying if he can deliver either power and make it a bit more consistent than it has been or better road or health.
â€œLet him pick an issue, maybe security and focus on it. If he does that I am going to vote for him, not because he is from the South South or Niger Delta or Ijaw.â€
Asked if he was sure the president could deliver considering the time left, he said, â€œeven if he has lepers as ministers, he chose them. If they donâ€™t work and he keeps them there, he is responsible for them.
â€œFor example we are not happy with the Niger Delta and the way things are moving there. We are not happy with the Niger Delta Ministry. We are even not happy with the post-amnesty process, but we have to now ask ourselves who is in charge? As far as I am concerned, everything ends on the table of Goodluck Jonathan.
â€œWhat impacts have past budgets made in the area? We have not seen any progress in the region. The NDDC has been a lame duck; in fact, it has been an albatross on the neck of the people of Niger Delta.â€
He regretted that the report the committee presented was not being handled as suggested, saying that the amnesty programme would not achieve the desired result.