Mr Kenedy Tonjo-West has said the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) does not stand a chance in the forth coming 2019 general elections in the Niger Delta region.
Tonjo-West, Senior Special Assistant on Niger Delta Youth Matters to Gov Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa said the suspension of several contracts in the region that previously engaged the youths had thrown over 15,000 youths to the labour market.
He noted that a review of activities in the past three years shows that the Federal Government was pursuing a deliberate policy of economic stagnation targeted at stifling growth in the region.
He added that the revocation of pipeline surveillance jobs which hitherto engaged some 9,000 Niger Delta youths without clearing outstanding obligations had aggravated cases of oil theft.
His words, “A look at activities in the region for the past three and half years of the APC led Federal Government leaves much to be desired and that is why the 2019 polls would be an opportunity for Niger Delta people to speak through the ballot.
“All the palliatives put in place by previous administrations to ameliorate the sufferings of the Niger Delta region has been halted by this administration, for instance the NNPC floating stations have gone moribund.
“How can the people get refined products if not to resort to illegally refined products with its resultant adverse effect on the already battered and polluted environment?
“Also see the Maritime University, Delta State, we gathered that it is grossly underfunded, there has been a deliberate policy of stifling the region and Gov Dickson and Gov Wike have been shouting.
“The two governors have noted that there were irregularities in the statutory revenues accruing to oil bearing states and the issue came to the fore in the debacle at the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee meetings lately.”
He also noted that expectations from the peace building and fact-finding tour embarked by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo have not been met as the demands put forward by Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) remains pending.
He said the people of the region were saddened by the total neglect of the Niger Delta.
He noted that Niger Delta youths were disappointed by the decision of former Gov Godswill Akpabio, Victor Attah and Emmanuel Uduaghan to defect from the PDP to APC saying that the youths were poised to show solidarity with PDP in 2019 polls.
According to him, the PDP is more like a religion in the Niger Delta region and is more liberal, experienced and boasts of credible aspirants that can sweep the 2019 polls.