In a renewed effort to further propel the Buhari administration New Vision
for the overall development of the Niger Delta, the Pan-Niger Delta Forum,
PANDEF, will now be joining the Federal Government’s Inter-Ministerial
Group tasked with the implementation of the vision.
Speaking earlier today 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.”