By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Nigeria’s Vice President, Mr Yemi Osinbajo, has said that the damaging of pipelines and oil installations in the Niger Delta is a destruction of facilities meant to help the people of the region.
Speaking while receiving a delegation of Urhobo leaders at the Presidential Villa lately, Mr Osinbajo lamented, “So much damage is being done, governments will come and go, but this damages will ultimately destroy people’s livelihoods, aspirations and their future.”
“Nobody else anywhere in the world will destroy the facilities meant to help them, there is no benefit whatsoever from the destruction,” the Vice President said.
While maintaining that the Buhari administration would continue its outreach to leaders and groups in the Niger Delta in seeking peaceful solution to the crisis, Vice President Osinbajo called for understanding, especially on the part of the leaders of the region stressing that destruction and damage does not lead to anything good.
Regarding the opened channels of communication and negotiation with the Niger Delta leaders and representatives, the Vice President assured that President Muhammadu Buhari has shown exemplary leadership and also someone that can be trusted once he gives his word. “He is quiet, but fiercely determined, once he makes up his mind and gives his word,” Mr Osinbajo observed, while encouraging the Niger Delta people to work with the President.
Welcoming the delegation from the Urhobo Leaders of Thought led by its President, Chief Tuesday Onoge and the APC’s Gubernatorial Candidate in the 2015 elections, Olorogun Ortega Emerhor, Prof. Osinbajo commended the leadership and understanding of the Urhobo Leaders of Thought.
Earlier in his comments, Chief Onoge lamented that if the money sent to the Niger Delta in the last 16 years were judiciously spent, the people of the region would have benefitted. He asked rhetorically “What happened to this monies?
Pledging support to the Federal Government, the leader of the delegation said the group condemns the vandalisation of oil and gas installations in the Niger Delta in its entirety and offered to assist in furthering peace in the area. He also stated that the group supported the anti-corruption efforts of the Buhari administration.
Meanwhile, the Vice President also disclosed that the Federal Government was ready with the counterpart funding for the designated railway constructions: Lagos-Kano and Calabar-Lagos lines.
He spoke during a courtesy call on him by the new Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Zhou Pingjian, where he said the relationship between Nigeria and China is getting stronger and strategic. The Chinese envoy in his remarks said that trade between both countries has increased and described Nigeria as “giant of Africa.”
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