The visit of the Acting President of Nigeria Prof Yemi Osinbajo to Edo State yesterday ended in a fiasco. It was the continuation of his peace and dialogue mission with the oil communities of the Niger Delta towards persuading the militants among them to embrace peace and foster development.
It was gathered that minutes into the well-attended meeting with stakeholders held in Samuel Ogbemudia Hall at Ogbemudia College, Edo State on issues confronting the region the acting president was undaunted with several protests from Ijaw groups in the state against marginalization in the affairs of the state.
The groups also insisted on the Acting President coming to visit the oil producing parts of Edo state which are the riverine area of the State. They argued that the oil communities are the reasons why Edo state is classified as part of the Niger delta, therefore, the ceremony should not only stop at Benin City, the capital.
The protesting crowd became very unruly when they learned that the Acting President will not visit their communities because of the adverse security report. However, after more than 20 minutes of confusion normalcy was restored for the Acting President to deliver his goodwill message. In his message, the acting President on behalf of the recuperating president of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari pledge a new beginning and a new method of doing things, different from the government of the past.
Osinbajo expressed the frustration and disappointment of the present Government with the level of development of the Niger delta region despite several billion of dollars claimed to have been spent. According to him” Everywhere I look, the story is bleak and disappointing, many people are deprived because of corruption which has robbed the people of the oil communities their due development and progress” he lamented.
However, a phone call purportedly to be from the ailing Nigerian president recuperating from an undisclosed sickness in London saved the day for the august visitor. Obviously acting on instruction from the latter the Acting President had to hurriedly abandon the meeting and cancel further activities line up for him. The situation is said to have jolted his host the governor of Edo state as well as several dignitaries who attended the stakeholders meeting.
The incident also caused a stir among the people who had filled up all the available seats and space in the conference hall waiting to hear more promises and pledges.