Less than 48 hours after it received a 7 day ultimatum to the FG to address the issue of the Niger Delta,the Buhari administration says its New Vision for the overall development of the Niger will include a Federal Government’s Inter-Ministerial Group tasked with the implementation of the vision in partnership with the Pan-Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF.
Speaking earlier yesterday in Abuja at the meeting of the Federal Government with Niger Delta leaders under the aegis of PANDEF, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, while welcoming PANDEF’s offer to fully join the inter-ministerial group, reiterated the full commitment of the Federal Government to realise a new and prosperous Niger Delta developed through forthright partnerships between Federal Government, State Governments, private sector and local communities.
“We are fully committed and thankful for your contributions and feedback. We are working on this day by day. From the beginning, we took the 16-point demand very seriously and we also developed our own plan mostly based on those demands.
“Personally, I believe the issues of the Niger Delta must be addressed. When I undertook the visit to the Niger Delta region, my sole intention for participating in this process is that we need forthrightness and a hands-on approach. There is no week that has passed that I‘ve not held one meeting or the other on the Niger Delta issue. I’ve spent quality time looking at how we can implement this (new vision),” Prof. Osinbajo said.
The Acting President further said the Federal Government will implement the new vision in a way that is fair to all parties. “It can’t be done overnight. We are also looking at the integrity of the process so we can meet our targets. We are not out of line. Everything is on course the way we set it out. We have got to do it right,” he said.
The inter-ministerial group, consisting of all relevant ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs of the FG, with the involvement of relevant State governments led by the Acting President, meets regularly to drive the different initiatives and ensure effective and ongoing implementation of the FG Niger Delta new vision.
Prof. Osinbajo further stated that the Federal Government was committed to the Amnesty Programme, the establishment of the Maritime University, the clean-up of Ogoni and the general development of the Niger Delta region.
Speaking on behalf of PANDEF, Chief Edwin Clark thanked the Federal Government for being forthright and showing commitment to improving the fortunes of the region, noting that the Acting President’s visit to the Niger Delta has contributed to the peace in the region.
Clark said, “The meeting was excellent. We met with Mr. Acting President. He was very forthright, truthful. We were very satisfied. There is no ultimatum. We agreed on many things and we came in with our own address, presented it; the ministers presented their cases. Mr. Acting President rounded it off and we saw in him the genuineness, truthfulness and forthrightness. He is a gentleman and we support him. We are satisfied. We did not use the word ‘ultimatum’. We only said we would withdraw. But we have agreed to work together.”
Nigeria needs serious prayers to survive — Peter Obi
Nigeria needs serious prayers from all quarters to survive the crippling recession as well as withstand the impending collapse staring her dangerously in the face. This is the belief of former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi. He brought the message home while speaking recently during the 9th Diocesan Women Conference of Ebenezer Anglican Church, Unubi, Anambra State.
Addressing the crowd of Christian mothers, an obviously concerned Obi said: “Our dear country is the only country in the world that has as many as 11 million children out of school. Between 70 and 80% of this scary figure do not have jobs. So why can’t there be agitations all over the place? Be it Biafra, Arewa, Niger Delta . . . it’s just because of one thing – accumulated leadership failure all through the years since independence. But it’s not just the situation we find ourselves today that is the headache. The real scary problem is that it will even get worse as we move into the future. When all these people without jobs get to retirement age and there’s nothing to fall back on, then the real danger comes in the open.”
Obi, who recalled that he approved 80 Million Naira for the construction of the Diocesan Hospital and School of Nursing in the spirit of the partnership between the Anambra State Government and the Church, regretted not completing the project before he left office. He said his government had the money to have completed the project like some others before he handed over, but that he was planning for a smooth continuity and had to set aside money for many projects so that his successor would have something to start running with immediately he assumed office. He promised to continue to assist the Diocese.
Earlier, Bishop Ephraim Ikeakor of the Anglican Diocese of Amichi thanked the former Governor for his continued interest in the progress of the state, while calling on his continued assistance towards the completion of the Diocese’s Hospital and School of Nursing.