By Genevieve Aningo
THE proposed Federal Government summit on the Niger Delta, slated for September 26 and 27 in Abuja, has been described as a good omen for the country’s economy and the Niger Delta region.
An ex-militant leader, Preye Ekpebide, in Bomadi, Delta State, expressed optimism that the much awaited Niger Delta dialogue to be co-ordinated by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, would address the root causes of the current spate of unrest and destruction of oil assets despite the presidential amnesty granted to former militants.
Ekpebide, a recipient of an ambassador of peace in the Niger Delta region award, reiterated that the onus lied on the Federal Government to listen to the wise counsel of the leaders of the region for a lasting peace and stability and “for our economy to re-bound to its former glory.”
He noted that since the objectives of the summit were to provide an enduring political blueprint geared towards sustainable peace, acceptable security framework for stability, the ideas and advice that would be provided by the Niger Delta stakeholders at the proposed summit should not be swept under the carpet.
Commending the Federal Government for fixing a date for the summit, he tasked the Chief Edwin Clark-led Pan Niger Delta platform, comprising monarchs, leaders and stakeholders of the coastal Niger Delta states to synergise with the Niger Delta Dialogue Contact Group, headed by the former military governor of old Rivers State, King Alfred Diette-Spiff, for the region to have well co-ordinated delegates at the summit.