The Acting President Visit To Niger Delta

The Niger Delta region of Nigeria is the hub of oil and gas business in the country. But it is the most neglected region of Nigeria. The economy of Nigeria cannot survive without oil and gas from the Niger Delta. This age-long neglect has given room to agitation by the people of the region to draw the attention of the federal government of Nigeria to the area. The pollution of water, air and land of Niger Delta is hazardous and dangerous to healthy living. The underdevelopment question of the region is another marginalization and maltreatment of the people. Oil and gas activities which ordinarily should have been a panacea for development have become hardship and poverty. Today without Niger Delta resources there would be no viable economy of Nigeria. It is dishearten and worrisome to observe poverty and under development in the Niger Delta.

Indeed the un-addressed under development and pollution of Niger Delta gave room to economic and infrastructural agitations. This prompted the leaders to present 16t Points agenda to the federal government in 201.6 on how to tackle yeanings of the people. The Niger Delta forum also negotiated the visit of the acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo to Niger Delta.

The aim of the visit was to see things for himself; and who the oil and gas activities have affected and polluted the communities. Indeed, the acting President was. to have interactive session with Niger Delta stake holders in all the states of the region.

The first port of call by Acting President is Delta State. In Delta State, Okerekuku and Gbaramaturu Kingdom the Acting President had an interactive session with the people. He also used the medium to tell the people the next plan of action of the federal government in terms of development. Bayelsa state was the second place of visit. He also interacted with political leaders, opinion and tradition leader in Bayelsa state. The governor of Bayelsa state also presented the demands of the people to the Acting President. According to the Acting President, federal government is ready to develop the Niger Delta. He stated this in Yenegoa during his visit to Bayelsa state as part of efforts to bring lasting solution to the Niger Delta crisis.

Rivers state was the third state in his itinerary of his visit. The Acting President visited River state on Monday 13th February 2017. He was heartily welcomed by the Governor of Rivers state, Barr. Nyesom Wike at the Port Harcourt international Airport. As an august visitor to the state he was made to commission some lofty projects in Port Harcourt metropolis, before going to Government House the venue of the interactive session with Rivers people. The Rivers state government at government house also presented the demands of Rivers people to the Acting president. The Acting president on Tuesday 14th had another interactive session at event centre in Port Harcourt. The Acting president also visited Imo state.

The Niger Delta people expect proactive approach by the federal government to solve under development question and pollution of the environment. In the same vein, the people of Niger Delta should speak with one voice irrespective of political inclination. The Pan Niger Delta Forum should carry every state along in Niger Delta. Niger Della people want to see the result of the visit of the Acting president in no distant time. Every critical stakeholder should be carried along for purposeful development of the region. Virtually every community in Niger Delta is polluted as a result of oil and gas activities. Places like Umuechem, Ogba Egbema, Ndomi, Kula, Andonis, Ogoni, Okrika, Ahoda, Abua, Opobo, Nkoro; Ikwerre, need, urgent attention from the federal government.

The leaders of Niger Delta should sheathe the swords of political differences and work for the progress, peace development of the region. Rivers people in particular and Niger Delta in general expect more infrastructural development and empowerment from the federal government. Let there be understanding for effective contribution and development of the region.

Frank Eneawaji Ogwuonuonu

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