Osinbajo’s Peace Visit to Niger Delta Positive Move, Says Group

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Sunday Okobi

Concerned Professionals’ Congress (CPC) tuesday stated that the visit of a high-level delegation of the federal government led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to the Niger Delta region is a bold and courageous move capable of promoting a positive engagement with the people.

While endorsing the move by the federal government, the advocacy group noted that the visit would build the much-needed confidence in the zone towards achieving a lasting peace, stability and prosperity in the troubled oil-rich region and Nigeria in general.

CPC, in a statement jointly issued yesterday by its Coordinator, Musa Tukur Tilde and the Chief Media Strategist, Emeka Nwapa, and made available to THISDAY, said the peace mission was fit, proper and timely, pointing out that it could not have come at a better time than now when certain “mischievous misgivings were still being raised in some quarters about federal government’s plan for the region notwithstanding that President Muhammadu Buhari had taken some practical and decisive steps to address the Niger Delta question.”

The CPC, a group promoting peace, good governance and democracy in the country, recalled that the president took three major steps to demonstrate his sincere commitment to meeting the yearnings and aspirations of the people of the region.

Citing three instances, the statement disclosed that “President Buhari fulfilled his promise to start the cleaning-up of Ogoni land after many years of oil spillage when he sent Vice President Osinbajo to inaugurate official commencement of the exercise on June 2, 2016.

“He personally invited Niger Delta leaders under the auspices of the Chief Edwin Clark-led Pan-Niger Delta Forum to an ice-breaking meeting in the State House, Abuja which he personally hosted and presided over on November 1, 2016, and, towards the end of last year, he inaugurated the comprehensive Presidential Development Plan for the nation’s oil and gas sector which holds immense direct benefits for the people of the Niger Delta region.

“It is evident that President Buhari has good plans for the Niger Delta and he has shown it in words and action except that profiteers from chaos are those creating problems, and we should not allow them. The militancy in the region is a product of mischief.

“However, the offer of dialogue by the federal government in spite of the wanton vandalism of national oil and gas facilities by militants is the strength in leadership and statesmanship. This is the spirit behind the visit by the vice president. We fully endorse it,’’ Tukur Tilde said in the statement.

While urging all Nigerians to close ranks for the unity, peace and stability of the nation, CPC expressed confidence in the vision of the President Buhari and the ability of the vice president to utilise the opportunity of the visit to positively engage the elders, leaders, youth groups and representatives of oil-producing communities of the region to achieve sustainable political stability, socio-economic prosperity and environmental sanity in the troubled region.