Abuja: The crucial meeting called by the Presidency with leaders of the Niger Delta region, which was slated for October 29, has been moved to the November 1, 2016, a key member of the group, has said.
The information moving the meeting to the new date was passed to the Edwin Clark-led Pan-Niger Delta States Consultative Forum by Petroleum Minister, Dr. Ibe Kachukwu, according to one of the leaders.
The meeting, according to the source, has been shifted to allow for more consultation among the various stakeholders who are to meet with the President Muhammadu Buhari, his security aides, Niger Delta governors and about 40 representatives of the Niger Delta region.
No fewer than 13 top class traditional rulers and prominent leaders are expected to take part in the peace parley aimed at ending the dastardly bombing of oil facilities in the troubled Niger Delta region.
A leading member of the Pan Niger Delta States Consultative Forum told Vanguard that they would also use the window provided by the shift to meet with aggrieved Niger Delta youths in the creeks to appease them and seek their support and cooperation for the crucial meeting.
According to the leader, the planned meeting with Buhari and his top security officials is not meant to be confrontation but to seek concrete ways and means of moving the region forward in terms of development and peace.
“As far as we are concerned, Buhari is a trusted leader and father of all parts of the country and we are going to lay the cards before him and allow him to take steps that will lead to the transformation of the Niger Delta and bring about a lasting peace,” one of the key leaders told Vanguard in Abuja on Tuesday.
Apart from assuring the leaders that the present administration means well for the region, the meeting will also attempt to find a holistic means of ending the vicious cycle of bombing strategic oil facilities that have cut output significantly and reduced Nigeria’s earnings in recent times.
The plummeting oil output coupled with failing prices has led to Nigeria facing severe economic problems and acute shortage of foreign exchange for critical operations.