FG seeks support of traditional rulers to end insecurity in Niger Delta
The minister of Niger Delta affairs, Abubakar Momoh, has sought the collaboration of the traditional rulers in the Niger Delta region to achieve sustainable peace and security in the region.
Mr Momoh made the request on Saturday when he led a delegation of the ministry on a visit to the palace of Maj-Gen. Felix Mujakperuo, Orhue I, the Orodje of Okpe Kingdom.
Addressing the forum of the Delta traditional rulers council at the palace, Mr Momoh said that the Niger Delta was vital to the economic potentials of the country.
He said that Delta was the seventh state the delegation had visited in delivering the message of President Bola Tinubu across the Niger Delta region.
According to him, they have visited Rivers, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ondo and Edo.
The minister said that the present administration held the traditional rulers in very high esteem, describing them as being the custodians of peace in every community.
He noted that the government was aware that the Niger Delta was a very volatile region, noting that for the country to maximise its economic potentials, Niger Delta must be peaceful.
“Peace and security are amongst the topmost priorities of Mr President as contained in his policy mission.
“For us to have peace and security, there is no doubt that the traditional rulers and the governors of the states will be highly involved and that is why we are here.
“We started from the office of the governor of the state because we are talking of physical stakeholders in any region
“You should talk of the governor of the state and you know that the traditional rulers are the next in terms of hierarchy,” he said.
The minister, however, promised to interface with his colleague in the federal ministry of works with a view to fashioning out how best the roads could be constructed in a very short time to alleviate the sufferings of the people.
Responding, the Orodje of Okpe kingdom, who is the chairman of Delta traditional rulers council, pleaded that the East-West Road project be returned to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.
The federal government had in 2022, removed the road project from the custody of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to be handled by the Federal Ministry of Works.
“We plead that the East-West Road project should be returned to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs. It is very important,” he said.
The royal father, who is also the vice chairman of the South South traditional rulers forum, decried the level of abandoned projects in the state by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) since its inception.
“The NDDC that supposed to be executing projects in the region has not been doing anything. We have abandoned projects all over the state.
“We are feeling the pains in the Niger Delta region. For instance, we cannot get to Benin City our neighboring state or Port Harcourt, even to get to Asaba is a great challenge.
“The Federal Government road to Asaba is impassable. Amukpe-Abraka-Agbor-Uromi is bad. It is as if the Niger Delta is not part of this country and that is very painful.
“So much money has been spent for the construction of roads in the past eight years, no road was awarded in the region. We feel very bad the way we are being treated.
“The traditional rulers in the South South want to see President Bola Tinubu and tell him the way we are being treated.
“We the old people can take it, but the youth may not be able to take, we want Nigeria to remain as one country but we should be treated equally,” he said.
The royal father said that the South South Forum had made
several attempts to see the president without successes.
He noted that the traditional rulers were closer to the people and understood their feelings.
“We are not seeking for position, we are only helping. The cases we settle in our palaces, High Court judges can not settle them in a year,” he said.
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