Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
Former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, has called for the implementation of the National Conference report, stating that it would help address the numerous development challenges facing the nation.
Speaking during the Rivers State Golden Jubilee Anniversary Lecture in Port Harcourt yesterday, Jonathan argued that the nation urgently needed reforms and that the implementation of the report of the National Conference organised by his administration would put the nation on the path of true development.
He also advocated that reforms should ensure that more resources get to the states rather than the interventionist agencies which he said were already affected by politics.
The former president said the states in the Niger Delta have achieved more in terms of development since they started accessing 13 per cent derivation than interventionist agencies have achieved.
Jonathan said because of political influence on the interventionist agencies, the entire Niger Delta is replete with abandoned projects.
The former president also declared that the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, is working hard to transform the state and lead it to greater heights.
He said: â€œHaving had the opportunity to serve at the state level for eight years and at the centre for eight years, I can attest to the fact that Wike is working.
â€œEvery day I watch television, I see programmes going on. Inauguration of projects are taking place. It takes somebody with commitment, somebody with foresight and a strong team to achieve all these.â€
The former president stated that he is not surprised that Wike is living up to the expectations of the people because as a minister, Wike excelled.
â€œLet me specifically thank the Governor of Rivers State, somebody who worked with me, somebody I believe in. That is why I conferred on him the prestigious title of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON),â€ he said.
Also speaking, National Caretaker Committee Chairman of PDP, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, said only the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has the capacity to embark on the restructuring of the country.
He said: â€œIn PDP, we believe that our federation needs to be fixed. We will ensure reforms in a manner that every federating unit will know that they will not be abandoned. â€œ
In his lecture titled: â€˜Democracy and Development in Nigeria: The Case of Rivers Stateâ€™, Prof Godini Darah advocated resource ownership for the Niger Delta.