Top government functionaries, including Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr Ahmed Wase and Women Affairs Minister, Paulen Tallen, on Saturday visited Eleme Kingdom in Rivers to bolster unity and brotherhood among all Nigerians.
However, the visitors were dismayed over poor state of infrastructure in the area and resolved to push for improvement.
Wase, who spoke with Journalists during a reception in their honor on Saturday at the Palace of Chief Apollus Chu, Paramount ruler of Okori Eleme, said communication and regular interface was key to a united nation.
“I have been here about 12 years ago on an official mission to NAFCON and the refinery and I share in the sentiments and problems associated with this community.
“The level of humility and brotherhood I have seen in Chief Chu shows that he is indeed a detribalized Nigerian.
“I am deeply touched and I want to say that we will organise ourselves as friends because advocacy works right in a number of ways.
“What you have done today could be likened to the hen that produces the golden egg and at the same time extending a hand to friendship to all.
“Indeed this quality that you have displayed is laudable and we feel appreciated, I would say on behalf of the National Assembly that Eleme is now part of our constituency,” the Deputy Speaker said.
Also , Talen, the women affairs minister, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, applauded the traditional ruler for his huge contributions towards enhancing unity in the country.
She urged other traditional rulers to emulate the gesture so as to straighten peace in the country.
“I am here on behalf of Mr President to express a sincere gratitude to you and your entire kingdom for your support during the last election and also for your peace initiatives, having toured the entire country advocating for peace and unity.
“We are aware that the three cardinal points of Mr President for this administration are security, fightig corruption and improving the economy.
“His Highness has worked hard in contributing to peace, visiting several royal kingdom’s across the country irrespective of tribe and religion, I urge other traditional leaders to emulate this, because we don’t have any other country than Nigeria,” she said.
Responding, King Chu thanked the visitors as he pronounced them adopted sons and daughters of Eleme, and urged them to protect the interest of the deprived people of the oil rich kingdom.
“Because I’m from a minority tribe, I have chosen to make friends with people from far and near, and that’s why I have also adopted the Deputy Speaker, the Minister and this entire team as my brothers and sisters.
“I’m extending this hand of friendship so that Eleme people can have a voice through our adopted brothers.
“So that this land would be given a place in the schedule of government’s plans, policies and interventions.
“This kingdom has contributed so much to the economic growth of our country; the first three refineries in this country are sited here, a federal seaport is here amongst several multinationals and countless oil blocks, yet even basic amenities are lacking here
“We can’t correct this anomaly by fighting the federal government but through constructive dialogue which is the reason why we are building this cordial relationship with policy makers in the country,” he said.