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FG re-christens Niger Delta ‘summit’

Posted by By LUCKY NWANKWERE, Abuja on 2008/07/18 | Views: 2456 |

FG re-christens Niger Delta ‘summit’


Confronted with the reality about the futility of staging the much-talked about Niger Delta summit as a way of addressing the problems of the region, the Federal Government yesterday dumped the idea, opting instead for discussions with the various stakeholders on the way forward.

Confronted with the reality about the futility of staging the much-talked about Niger Delta summit as a way of addressing the problems of the region, the Federal Government yesterday dumped the idea, opting instead for discussions with the various stakeholders on the way forward.

The decision was arrived at a closed door meeting between Vice President Goodluck Jonathan and the governors as well as opinion leaders of the Niger Delta states held in the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday night.

The vice president who is in charge of the Niger Delta affairs made the outcome of the meeting known when he spoke with newsmen, saying the word 'summit' had become problematic as the people were vehemently opposed to it and as such it needed to be dropped. He, however, said that there will have to be some form of general dialogue in order to move forward.

“When you use the word 'summit', it is a problematic word now because the people feel that when you say summit, that people will come from everywhere, different memos, sentiments, and they will say it is a jamboree. It is not really what they want. We will raise the issues, present it before the Federal Government and we will dialogue. Let's leave it at that point. We are not using the word summit.

“What we want is a discussion. Let us listen to the issues in the Niger Delta. Different people have different thinking about the Niger Delta. Some people think it is purely a security matter, some think it is purely an infrastructural matter, some think it is a political matter. Some think it is education,” he stated.
The meeting, according to him, resolved to set up a committee to articulate the issues at stake in the Niger Delta question, review all previous reports on the Niger Delta with a view to analysing and updating their recommendations and come up with the way forward.

The outcome of the exercise, he explained, would be presented to President Umaru Yar'Adua for his administration's consideration and possible implementation.
“Basically what we have agreed today is that if there are problems in the Niger Delta, what are these problems, what caused these problems, what is the way forward, the challenges, the issues? So we have agreed that a committee would be set up to raise these issues and then the issues would be presented to the president. Then the journey starts from there,” he further explained.

Describing the Niger Delta issue as complex, Jonathan stressed the need for the people to understand the fact that the problems associated with it required patience as they could not be solved overnight.
“We cannot solve it overnight. That is what everybody must learn. If it was possible to solve it overnight probably it would have been solved before some of us entered primary school.

“They are not issues you can solve overnight but the present administration is committed. The whole thing is growing like a cancer and it is going to consume everybody if nothing is done. That is why we are holding these various meetings. We must get to a point and move ahead,” he further stated.
The vice president who restated the present administration's commitment to solving the problems of the region said government would continue to meet with the relevant groups and stakeholders in the region until a final decision was reached on the way forward.

“I will continue to meet with different groups. I have a meeting with the governors after the National Economic Council meeting today (yesterday). But basically what we have agreed today is that if there are problems in the Niger Delta, what are these problems, what caused these problems, what is the way forward, the challenges, the issues?” he added.

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Joel Efiong(Calabar, Nigeria)says...

This is a great piece. The examination bodies should hire you as ICT consultant.

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Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...

ULIMASI means' GOD,THANK YOU' not THANK GOD.

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Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...

The name ULIMASI is from the UTUGWANG tribe in OBUDU local government area of CROSS RIVER STATE in Nigeria.

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Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding