By Jimitota Onoyume
PORT-HARCOURT â€”Â THE Federal Government had been told to consolidate on the gains of its amnesty to repentant militants in the Niger Delta by coming up with measures that would effectively tackle challenges that gave birth to the crises and conflicts that preceded the amnesty.
President, Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP, Mr Ledum Mitee, who made the appeal at this yearâ€™s Ogoni Day in Bori, said all effort should be geared towards ensuring that the peace currently being enjoyed in the region wasÂ sustained.
Mitee appealed to Ogoni youths and others in the region to shun likely offers from the political class to indulge in any form of violence, particularly with elections around the corner.
Gov Amaechi immortalises Saro-Wiwa
On his part, Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi called on the Ogonis to unite and promote the common good of the area.
He said they should guard against selfish tendencies that bred bad blood and disaffection, particularly now that their struggle was beginning to yield positive results.
He assured the people that his administration would continue to be accountable by utilising state funds to deliver services to the people, and apologised to the Ogoni people for the state governmentâ€™s inability to provide them electricity before December 2009.
The governor said he would continue to identify with the Ogoni struggle because of its non-violent approach and had many years ago immortalised the late environmentalist, Ken Saro-Wiwa, by naming a building he built at Uniport after him. He added that, as governor, he had now renamed Stadium Road to Ken Saro-Wiwa Road.
The governor thanked the MOSOP leadership and the entire Ogoni people for honouring him with an award.
Governor Amaechi, who also represented Vice President Goodluck Jona-than, said he was in support ofÂ the non-violent struggle of Ogoni people, and enjoined them to sustain the peace for the betterment of the area and the country at large.
Ogoni non-violent struggle lauded
Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Ufot Ekaette, in his remark, lauded the Ogoni for their non-violent posture to the struggle for better attention
Ekaette, therefore, urged MOSOP to continue with the peaceful attitude for the overall interest of the people of the area and the Niger Delta, stressing that the Federal Government established the Niger Delta Ministry and offered amnesty to militants to fast-track the development of the area.
The Minister said the East-West road project was progressing more in the Ogoni axis than any other area because of the peaceful atmosphere provided the contractors.
In his good will message,Â Secretary to Rivers State Government, Mr. Magnus Abe, thanked the governor for the projects in Ogoniland. Chairman of the day, Chief Andrew Uchendu, urged the Ogonis to learn the lesson of peace from the life and times of Saro-Wiwa.