By Inalegwu Shaibu
ABUJAâ€”The Igba of Warri, Chief Rita Lori-Ogbebor, has urged the people of Niger Delta not to expect an over-night solution to the problems of the region following the confirmation of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan as the Acting President.
Chief Lori-Ogbebor, who spoke to newsmen in Abuja at the weekend, also faulted the call by some elders of Niger Delta origin urging Dr. Jonathan to sack the entire cabinet.
She described such statements as inflammatory and capable of derailing the Acting President, adding that his mandate is for the entire country and not for the people of the Niger Delta alone.
She said, â€œJonathan becoming the Acting President of this country is a child of circumstances. He is not a President of Niger Delta, he is not a President of Ijaw. He is the Acting President of Nigeria. The fact that he is there does not mean that he has a magic wand to perform miracles.
â€œWe the elders in the Niger Delta have no reason to make any inflammatory statement. I do not want us or the Ijaws to give him direction. He has a lot of people who can advise him on what to do that will be good for the entire country.â€
Chief Rita Lori who also commented on the amnesty programme noted that the Federal Government efforts must be supported by the elders and state governments in the Niger Delta.
â€œThe Federal Government can give all the money but the implementation and development of the Niger Delta rest with us. He is only one man out of millions of Nigerians. So we should sit together to see what we can achieve collectively. It is left for us the elders to tell our sons to put down their guns and let us see how we can develop the Niger Delta.
â€œPolitics should be put aside for now and the elders should sit down together and help plan the Niger Delta. The ex-militants have to work and be given hope. If they are not working and the amnesty programme is not working, there will be trouble.â€
Commenting on the National Assembly resolution,Â she said Nigerians must be commended for ensuring that our democracy survives, adding that what happened had coup written all over it, but it never took place because of the commitment of Nigerians to democracy.
Her words: â€œI want to thank Nigerians for the last few days that have passed, that led to the swearing in of the Acting President. I thank God who has shown mercy on the whole of this country for averting what could have brought trouble to the country.
â€œAll the ingredients of coup were present. I want to thank the Wole Soyinkas, all the activist who gave no room for coup because they were constantly in court, on the roads and because of our prayers, God averted trouble for this country.
â€œI also want to thank the Armed Forces who did not take opportunity of the coup ingredients to overthrow the government. I thank the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, that came out and said that the constitution should be followed. There is nothing like having a stsable country.â€