“For there to be meaningful development and progress in the Niger Delta Region there must be peace” this statement of fact was again re-echoed by both the former Nigerian President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and the Present Governor of Delta State Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa.
The occasion was the presentation of staff of office to the Pere of Gbaramatu Kingdom HRM Oboro Gbaraum 11, Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State.
President Jonathan stressed the need for peace to prevail in the Niger Delta so that it would usher in development and progress. He however noted that this can only be achieved if the Niger Delta Militants lay down their arms, stop bombing oil pipelines and embrace peace. He therefore pleaded with them to lay down their arms and give peace a chance.
According the former president “We need peace in the Niger Delta, for development to take place. Nigeria is a great nation therefore no matter what is happening in Nigeria, Niger Delta and Gbaramatu kingdom will succeed”
Governor Okowa on his part lamented how lack of peace in the Niger Delta creeks is hampering or obstructing the execution of laudable projects for the benefit and development of the people. He therefore called for peace to be restored in the Niger Delta to allow development.
According to the governor “There is no alternative to partnership, even if you feel bad when aggrieved you mustn’t resort to violence but by dialogue. We need to forgive those that offend us so as to be able to speak boldly and be heard”.
Governor Okowa further stressed the importance of paying greater detail to the development of the creeks and the riverine communities. He regretted that the riverine communities and the creeks have been abandoned for a long time and there is need to initiate concrete development there. He listed some of the projects earmarked for the creeks and riverine areas to include bridges, schools, hospitals , roads and drainage and embankment to control erosion.
He advised communities in the Delta to borrow a leaf from the Gbaramatu kingdom who choose their king in a peaceful and orderly manner devoid of conflict and rancor.