By Emma Amaize
DEPUTY Governor of Delta State, Deacon Kingsley Otuaro, has vowed that the state would continue its partnership with security agencies and critical stakeholders to put an end to oil bunkering and other unpatriotic actions disadvantageous to the economy of the nation.
He, however, turned up his nose at the activities of some security agencies, which in the bid to destroy illegal refineries in the creeks and vessels laden with refined products, end up polluting the environment.
He spoke at Government House, Asaba, when he played host to delegates from an international peace support group, Search for Common Ground,
Otuaro asserted, “A lot of platforms were created by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa upon assumption of office in 2015 to restore peace in the creeks. As the chairman of Delta State Advocacy Committee Against Vandalism of Oil and Gas Facilities, I led several visits were made to the troubled areas before peace and stability returned.”
While advocating best practice by security agents, he said, “Having gone to the creeks with my team, we discovered the large scale devastating effect of petroleum products on the environment, and we think there would soon be an international forum where all stakeholders in the oil industry will meet and discuss the way forward.”
“I want to commend this body for championing peace in the Niger Delta region, especially in oil-bearing communities. I want to assure you of government support in peacebuilding and development of the state. ”
“The government was aware of the negative effect of unemployment hence the need for the establishment of several poverty alleviation programmes that have meaningfully engaged thousands of youths rather than allow them to be a ready tool in the hand evil men,” the deputy governor added.
Leader of the team, Mr Borve Paago-Imabel, revealed that” the agency is working in over thirty-six countries in the world, including Nigeria to restore peace in troubled areas.”
Mr Paago-Imabel said, ‘ “We are in Delta State to seek ways of partnering in peacebuilding and our focus is on Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa, and North-Eastern part of the country.”
He commended Otuaro for the role he played in the restoration of peace during the period of pipeline vandalization by militants.