By Mary Oyiboch- Agbajoh
On May 29, 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari, in his inaugural speech, said, “The government intends to invest heavily in the Niger Delta projects and programmes currently in place. I call on the leadership and people in the area to cooperate with the state and federal governments in the rehabilitation programmes which will be streamlined and made more effective”.
Buhari’s promise four years after has been kept. The gains in Niger Delta prove the President right, hence there have been calls from different angles for his re-election.
Calls for Buhari’s re-election cut across tribe, party affiliation, religion and elites among others. The reason is that Buhari since assuming office has performed well in all ramifications with the most important achievement being the fight against corruption which has brought economical and financial sanity to the polity.
Significant in this regard is the call for the President’s re-election by the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs /Coordinator of Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP, Prof. Charles Dokubo. It is important because the Niger Delta sustains the nation’s economy and there is need to maintain the development of the region.
Thus, in order to maintain the status quo, Dokubo has appealed to youths in the Niger Delta to sustain their support for Buhari.
Dokubo, speaking in Abuja, when a group of Niger Delta youths paid him a visit, said Buhari means well for the region, adding that their continuous support for the president and his administration would attract more development to the area.
“We must work and support President Buhari because to transform you is not only to pay you N65, 000. We should realise that this office is being supported very well by this president. He is giving us the backing for the development of the Niger Delta, we must work for him”, he stated.
“If somebody gives you food, would you forget that person? If somebody changes your life or that of your brother, would you forget that person?
“I am so happy that you came here today, this is because since I took over here, this is the first time our people have come here to show me this kind of support officially, and this goes a long way. This office belongs to all of you. “
Dokubo has said it all. One good turn deserves another. It is now left for the people of the region to heed his advice and rally support for the re-election of the President so that there will be continuity in the development of the Niger Delta as we move to the ‘Next Level’.
Indeed, PAP works in line with the Change Agenda of the Buhari administration. The programme has transformed and brought stability to the region.
Today, the region is peaceful unlike in the past when vandalism, crisis and bursting of pipeline was the order of the day. This is because idle youths have been fully engaged in training and re training under the amnesty programme and in other agencies of government.
Only recently, a world class vocational training centre was established in Agadagba-obon, Ese-Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State by PAP to train youths in oil and gas related fields.
Dokubo was able to perform this feat as a result of the support he got from Buhari. Another of this kind is in waiting. The region has also witnessed increase in oil production of over 2.2mbpd enriching the nation’s economy due to the prevailing peace.
The Buhari administration introduced the ‘New Vision’ for the Niger-Delta which encompasses robust solutions, targets and initiatives aimed at ensuring that the people of the Niger-Delta benefit maximally from the region’s oil wealth.
Buhari approved the take-off of the Nigerian Maritime University in Okerenkoko, Delta State. The university was granted approval in January 2018 by the National Universities Commission (NUC) to commence undergraduate degree programmes effective 2017/18 session, and commenced academic activities on April 12, 2018. He approved an increase in the take-off grant allocated to the university from N2 billion to N5.
The Buhari administration flagged off the Ogoni cleanup project in 2017. His administration set aside $170 million seed funding for the clean up, in an Escrow Account established for that purpose.
Under Buhari’s administration, approvals for the establishment of modular refineries across the nine states of the Niger-Delta and a total of 38 licenses have been issued, covering high-scale refineries of 50,000 to 250,000 barrels per day. About 10 of the modular refineries have secured permit to construct and two are already under construction, and will be completed soonest.
The administration has also ensured the resumption of construction work on abandoned projects awarded to different contractors across the Niger-Delta since 2006, including the all-important East-West Road.
Under the leadership of Buhari, the Niger Delta has also witnessed the ressuscitation of the railway such that we now have rail transportation service across the Niger Delta.
With these achievements of the Buhari administration in the Niger Delta, it is imperative for the people of the region to heed the appeal of Dokubo to take advantage of the FG investments already on ground and vote for the President to compete what he has started.