Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Godswill Akpabio, on Thursday visited Oporoza, headquarters of Gbaramatu kingdom in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State over various issues in the Niger Delta region.
In a move to avert another crises in the region that oils the nation’s economy, Senator Akpabio landed at Osubi Airstrip, Warri and was ferried to the creek via a speedboat with security details from the army, navy and DSS.
Akpabio was also accompanied to Oporoza by the deputy governor of Delta State, Kingsley Otuaro; government functionaries and other stakeholders from Urhobo, Isoko, Itsekiri and representatives of other ethnic nationalities in the region.
Addressing the gathering at the palace of the Pere of Gbaramatu, Akpabio said: “I came to consult you on the way forward and also to drop a message that when others are having issues and when you take it out on the Federal Government, this region should not join.
“I am saying this because it’s only somebody who is causing a war that can go for a war. We must support the Federal Government; what we are looking for in Niger Delta is empowerment and we cannot have it unless we have peace.”
He stated that the NDDC’s substantive board would be formed before the end of July.
Deputy Governor Otuaro, while addressing the gathering, said the minister visit was a saving grace.
“I came here representing the interest of the state in what I see to be a consultative meeting hosted here.
“Today is a day of sadness and joy, a day of sadness because our dear country is at the verge of inplosion. We must set this discussion above rhetorics.
“If you look at the geopolitical zones in this country, everywhere is in turmoil. It speaks volume of the singular fact that there seems to be a failure of leadership.
“We cannot explain why an institution as the NDDC, that is a product of an act, is being run in fragrant abuse in the guise of a forensic order,” Otuaro said, adding that there must be a substantive board in a representative democracy.
Chief Godspower Gbebekama, the spokesman of Gbaramatu kingdom, warned that the peace being enjoyed in the region is not because there’s military presence, asking him to withdraw the July promise to constitute the board if wasn’t sure about it.
He further warned that the gathering of all Niger Delta ethnic nationalities was not for fun, adding that the peace being enjoyed in the region was because leaders of the nationalities had resolved to maintain peace.
He advised Akpabio to constitute substantive board for all the agencies under him.
Traditional ruler of Gbaramatu kingdom, while speaking, said he and other traditional rulers and leaders in the region were working for peace and would continue to do so.
Representatives of Isoko, Itsekiri, Ndokwa, Urhobo and those from Edo and Ondo states all spoke in like manner, admonished the minister to constitute the board.”
Akpabio, besides visiting Tompolo, has earlier in the week, invited all ethnic nationalities in the Niger Delta region to meet at the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt with a view to addressing issues causing unrest in the oil-rich region.
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