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Devt strategy Implementation, solution to N-Delta problems — V-P

By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoa — Vice- President Goodluck Jonathan and former Secretary to Bayelsa State Government (SSG), Professor Steve Azaiki, weekend, said the anticipated successes of the present administration in resolving the problems of the Niger Delta would be determined by the implemen-tation of development strategies during the post-amnesty era.

Both assured that the Federal Government will not fail in its promise to the ex-militant leaders and the people of the region.

While Jonathan was confident that the President, Musa Yar’Adua’s agenda for the region was expected to have a lasting effect on the region through a total and comprehensive development plan , Professor Steve Azaiki said the expected successes will depend on the combined roles played by the federal, state and local governments.

The Vice-President and Azaiki made their positions known in Yenagoa during the opening of the Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR).

Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan told members of the institute that the Federal Government, under the leadership of President Musa Yar’Adua, was committed to improving on the welfare of her citizens through people-oriented programmes and empowerment schemes.

According to him, the government is aware of the misconception of her efforts aimed at fast-tracking the development of all regions.

He argued that part of such effort was the deliberate effort by the present administration to ensure lasting successes in the post-amnesty era and its commitment  towards the total and comprehensive development of the Niger Delta.

Delivering a lecture, titled, Public Relations and the Challenges of Managing the Niger Delta Schism, the former Bayelsa government scribe and the National Co-ordinator of the National Think-Tank, Prof Steve Azaiki, said the amnesty era had recorded enormous successes due to the resolve of the people of the region to end the loss in villages and communities in the region.

He added that the expected success of the post-amnesty era will depend on the resoluteness of the federal government to stand by change and development in the region.

According to him, the federal government can kick-start the process of development in the region by implementing the Ledum Mittee Technical Committee report on the Niger Delta.

He said “the technical report, the restoration of fiscal federalism and government supported industrialisation will guide the country in the needed direction.

“Unless we achieve this status, our country will continue to be breeding ground for rebellious youths and disgruntled adults. As soon as the process of development of the region begins and as soon as justice for the people is assured, peace will reign.”

In his speech, Bayelsa State Chairman of the NIPR, Mr. Freston Akpor, pointed out that the Niger Delta and the nation have become a social structure under attack from several battle fronts, including, “erratic power supply, failed industries, electoral issues and lack of confidence building are challenges of the collective creation.

“That is why Nigerians have thrown their weight behind the Re-brand Nigeria Project,” he said.


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