• Says Niger Delta stands to lose from blowing up pipelines
Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has said the federal government is ready with the counterpart funding for the designated railway constructions: Lagos-Kano and Calabar-Lagos lines.
A statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, said Osinbajo declared this during a courtesy call on him by the new Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Zhou Pingjian.
Osinbajo said the relationship between Nigeria and China was getting stronger and strategic.
The Chinese envoy in his remarks, said trade between both countries had increased and described Nigeria as ‘giant of Africa.’
Also yesterday, the vice president said damaging of pipelines and oil installations in the Niger Delta was a destruction of facilities meant to help the people of the region.
Speaking while receiving a delegation of Urhobo leaders at the Presidential Villa, Osinbajo noted that so much damage was being done, adding that governments would come and go, but the damages would ultimately destroy people’s livelihood, aspirations and their future.
According to him, nobody else anywhere in the world would destroy the facilities meant to help them; there is no benefit whatsoever from the destruction,” the vice president continued.
While maintaining that Buhari administration would continue its outreach to leaders and groups in the Niger Delta in seeking peaceful solution to the crisis, Osinbajo called for understanding, especially on the part of the leaders of the region, stressing that destruction and damage “does not lead to anything good.”
Regarding the opened channels of communication and negotiation with the Niger Delta leaders and representatives, the vice president said President Muhammadu Buhari had shown exemplary leadership and is someone that could be trusted once he gives his word.
“He is quiet, but fiercely determined, once he makes up his mind and gives his word,” he said
Osinbajo encouraged Niger Delta people to work with the president.
Welcoming the delegation from the Urhobo Leaders of Thought led by its president, Chief Tuesday Onoge, and the APC’s Gubernatorial Candidate in the 2015 elections, Olorogun Ortega Emerhor, Osinbajo commended the leadership and understanding of the Urhobo Leaders of Thought.
Earlier in his comments, Onoge had lamented that if the money sent to the Niger Delta in the last 16 years was judiciously spent, the people of the region would have benefited. He then asked rhetorically “What happened to the monies?
Pledging support to the federal government, the leader of the delegation said the group condemned the vandalisation of oil and gas installations in the Niger Delta in its entirety and offered to assist in ushering peace in the area.
He also stated that the group supported the anti-corruption efforts of the Buhari administration.