Tinubu Urged to Engage Traditional Rulers, Address Unemployment
Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt and Sylvester Idowu in Warri
The Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr Samuel Ogbuku, has tasked the military in the Niger Delta region to be proactive in tackling the challenges of security in the region.
This is just as the Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ) has urged President Bola Tinubu to engage the services of traditional rulers as well as address the menace of unemployment and youth restiveness.
Also, the NDDC boss has re-affirmed the commitment of the commission to assist security agencies operating in the Niger Delta region.
Ogbuku gave the charge during a separate courtesy visits by the General Officer Commanding, 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Jamal Abdussalam and the Commander of Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder, Commodore Desmond Igbo, at the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt.
Addressing the military chiefs, the NDDC chief executive officer(CEO) stressed the need for collaboration to ensure that the region remained peaceful, noting that development could only take place in an atmosphere of peace and security.
He declared: “Development and security are intertwined because without security there will be no development and where there is security and development there will be prosperity. For the Niger Delta to be peaceful, we need both development and security. Incidentally, the foundation for development is security, hence there is need for collaboration between the NDDC and security agencies.”
Ogbuku observed that since NDDC had an obligation to support security agencies, it needed a secure environment to effectively discharge its mandate as an intervention agency.
He noted: “We have always supported military formations and security agencies and we are willing to do more. Last year, we did a lot for the Nigerian Navy. Our contributions are aimed at enhancing and supporting what you are doing here in the region and also to complement what we are doing in the area of development.
“I appreciate the security agencies for the job they are doing in the Niger Delta region because the region is relatively peaceful compared to other regions in the country. I thank the Navy for doing a good job and making sacrifices for our collective well-being.”
The NDDC boss advised the Navy and other security agencies to be proactive and rely more on intelligence gathering to nip security challenges in the bud.
On supporting the security agencies, he said it also involves engaging the youths in the region in various skills by training them to ensure that they were gainfully employed.
Speaking earlier, the General Officer Commanding, 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maj. Gen. Abdussalam, noted that the development of the Niger Delta region could not take place without peace.
He remarked: “We need each other to succeed. We want to cement the existing relationship between NDDC and the Army.”
The GOC commended the NDDC for providing solar-power streetlights at the Army Barracks in the four states and appealed for more support in providing facilities in the barracks under the 6 Division.
He stated: “We provide security to oil and gas infrastructure in the Niger Delta region. We cover four states of Rivers, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Delta States and we safeguard all oil and gas installations in the four states.”
Similarly, the Commander, NNS Pathfinder, Commodore Igbo, commended the NDDC for co-operating with security agencies working in the Niger Delta region to ensure peace, stating: “We will continue to protect the territorial integrity of the country and all its national assets.”
He said the Navy would continue to discharge its duties to the country, including maintaining peace in the Niger Delta region, which he affirmed was necessary for sustainable development to thrive.
The Commander NNS Pathfinder urged the NDDC management to continue to support security forces in the region and promised to sustain the cordial relationship between the Navy and the Commission.
Meanwhile, the Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ) has urged President Bola Tinubu to engage the services of traditional rulers as well as address the menace of unemployment and youth restiveness.
The National Coordinator of CEPEJ, Mr. Sheriff Mulade, insisted at a press conference yesterday in Warri, Delta State, that such a move would foster national economic growth and stability.
Mulade said: “In view of the high level of insecurity in Nigeria in recent times, accentuated by the spate of killings and kidnappings across the country, I, Chief Mulade Sheriff, the National Coordinator of the Center for Peace and Environmental Justice, CEPEJ, hereby call on the government at all levels, and state apparatuses to consider the role of traditional institutions in the nation’s security architecture, in the fight against insecurity, so as to foster national economic growth and stability.
“As the national coordinator of CEPEJ, a foremost civil society organisation with over 20 years of experience and an impeccable track record across the nation on peace-building and peaceful coexistence, human rights protection, effective security intelligence gathering, and environmental justice advocacy, I dare say that one of the sure means to fight and end insecurity in Nigeria is to engage the traditional rulers with the responsibility of ensuring that their respective domains are totally free from insecurity issues.
“It is important to note here that traditional rulers, as custodians of culture and traditions in their kingdoms, are more familiar and abreast of their domains and environments.
“This places them in a strategic position as leaders who can effectively take charge and control of their areas. Therefore, they should be given the responsibility to protect lives and property in their domains in collaboration with security agencies, particularly the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
“I strongly believe that such collaboration will go a long way toward bringing the security challenges under control. It is also worthy of note that bandits, kidnappers, and other criminal elements hide in a locality/place within the domain of a traditional ruler, where they carry out their nefarious activities which have become an international embarrassment to Nigeria.”
According to him, “in the fight against insecurity, traditional rulers, as stakeholders, should be given the authority to also secure their kingdoms against political violence.
“This means that security votes should be allocated to them, as they are in better positions to fight against insecurity in their kingdoms if the country’s leadership truly wants to end insecurity in the country.
“In other words, traditional institutions in the country should be strengthened if Nigeria must be insecurity-free so as to achieve a stable economy that will attract international and local investors. “The federal government, led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, should take proactive steps to ensure that traditional rulers are at the forefront of the fight against insecurity nationwide.
“Efforts should be made to bring them on board and give them the opportunity to play their parts toward rescuing our dear country from criminals, and restoring peace in line with Mr. President’s Renewed Hope Agenda. No price is too much to pay for peace.”
Mulade, who is a traditional chief at Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State, also charged all Nigerians to get involved in securing the nation by supporting the security agencies with credible intelligence.
“Besides giving traditional rulers the power to fight insecurity, all hands must be on deck because security is a collective responsibility and everyone’s business.
“Ensuring security should not be left for only security agencies. The good thing here is that empowering the traditional rulers makes it easier to involve everybody since almost all Nigerians respect their traditional rulers.
“Our traditional institutions have long been the custodians of our cultural heritage and the guardians of community cohesion. Their wisdom, authority, and grassroots presence uniquely position them to play a pivotal role in addressing the multifaceted challenges confronting our nation today,” he noted.
He also urged the President Tinubu-led federal government to swiftly address the biting menace of unemployment and youth restiveness by looking into their demands across the country.
“Unaddressed grievances, marginalisation, and a lack of avenues for meaningful engagement are fueling discontent and social unrest in various parts of the country,” the environmental activist warned.