By Chris Ochayi
The Federal Government, yesterday, said that the era of fighting and threatening was over in the Niger Delta region because the several years of neglect of the region would be addressed by President Goodluck Jonathan, who is the son of the soil with better understanding of the peculiar nature of the region.
Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, who made the remarks while addressing a meeting of stakeholders, including the leadership of oil producing communities and management of the multi-national oil corporation, Chevron Nigeria Limited, in Abuja, said Jonathan was committed to addressing the long period of deprivation, neglect and underdevelopment suffered by the region.
The oil communities, which were represented at the forum, attended by the Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Samuel Ode, include the Egbema/Gbaramatu Cultural Development Council, Koko-digbene community, Itsekiri RDC (Olero), Ilaje Regional Development Council amongst others.
Elder Orubebe, who, however, enjoined citizens of the region to pray for the President, added, “what is important today is to every Niger Deltans to be praying for Jonathan. It is only the government that can develop the region. Jonathan understands the problem of areas and he knows how to handle them.”
Noting the development plans being put in place to change the fortune of the region which include the ongoing dualisation of the East West road, construction of the coastal roads and the coastal rail projects, the minister noted that “Jonathan is committed to bring all these projects to reality and just needs only your prayers.
“What was really needed is the understanding and cooperation of all communities in the region”, adding, in the next two years, Niger Delta is well. Every body will want to and spend holiday. There is a dramatic change that is coming to the region and everybody is going enjoy the place.
“The era of fighting is gone we are glad the people who lived there, who saw the level of environmental degradation as result of the oil spillage in the region are the people that are in government. And you can never have a better time than this time in the history of this country”.
Orubebe further charged the leaders of the oil producing communities to continue to maintain peace and tranquillity with the Chevron Nigeria Limited, since they have testified that the oil giant was doing well in terms of community development programme.
He said, “if the Chevron is doing well in the areas it has chosen to develop, like you have remarked, that is good but if you have other challenges that would required their attention, you have to go back and tell them”.