Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo said, on Tuesday, that any Niger Delta son that did not support resource control and fiscal federalism was a bastard of the region.
Keyamo made the statement on Tuesday as Governors of the South-south and leaders of the zone met to state their positions on the sale of gold by the Zamfara State Government to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The leaders of the South-south zone made seven demands on the federal government at the stakeholders meeting that held at the Government House in Port Harcourt with a Federal Government delegation led by the Chief of Staff (CoS) to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, in attendance.
In his remarks Keyamo said, “The Federal Executive Council has approved the Coastal Rail line from Lagos to Calabar. The loan for the coastal Rail line from Lagos to Calabar is actually being processed now.
“As for the Ports, Governor Okowa mentioned the issue of the deep sea port and as we speak here, I can show you a message from the MD of RCCI, the contract has been awarded already for the Warri port. It is the deep sea port that they want to establish in Warri.
“For you to have a deep seaport you need at least 14 meters deep of water but the old Warri Port is about 8 meters deep and it will cost about $100 million dollars to dregde.
“So what we want to do is that we have been mandated to work with traditional rulers like Olu of Warri and others to try and get a location that is at least close to 14 meters deep and that is where I will beg my brother the Hon Minister of Petroleum, because the channel to go in is also barricaded by the NNPC pipelines and some of them are obsolete so we are thinking of sinking or relocating the pipes for the ships to come in because the pipes are already under the water.
“In a few days time, myself and the Chinese people will leave for Warri to make some of those investigations. Pessu was actually pencilled down for the port but it is 8 meters deep and I am sure Governor Okowa knows about this.
*We are all part of the same region, I’m Urhobo like most of you here and when they tell you that the Federal Government should not take loan, tell them that they are taking loans to build railways in other parts of the country, so let us take loan to build our own too so don’t oppose it, we should build our own too with the Chinese loan as well.
“My elder brother Professor G. G. Darah, let me add to your demands because being here today, also part of you too, making demands from the Federal Government.
“You didn’t mention the Warri airport which is also very important. Shoreline that was managing the Warri Airport couldn’t pay up all its bills to FAAN. So the Federal Government had to take over the Warri airport, and some of us pursued it here and credit must be given to the Minister of Petroleum and myself because we pursued it all the way.
“A proposal has been written to the Federal Government for the Ministry of Petroleum to take over the Warri Airport and the President has approved that.
“They are working on it now and in the next few weeks the Warri Airport will become functional again.
“So on a last note, I want to say that most of the demands if not all the demands of Governor Okowa as a child of the region who was born and bred in the region, I also support those demands because it is only a bastard who is not born of a father from the Niger Delta that will not support those demands.
“It is not because we are here today. We will come back home tomorrow and any Niger Delta son that does not support resource control and fiscal federalism is a bastard of the region.
“So we support it. But I must caution that it must be a collective effort. Do not think that it is the fault from this government. It has always been there. Our son was President. A southerner was President as a Yoruba man.
“Luckily for us, the Deputy Senate President is the Chairman of the Constitutional Review Committee. Let us take our demands there, let us go and fight our case there.
“Nobody should dall for the narrative that it is President Muhammadu Buhari that caused the problem why they have not amended the constitution.
“Let us take all our demands there and let us go and fight it there”.