Former President Goodluck Jonathan has called on Niger Delta people to embrace peace in order to actualise the needed development in the oil region.
Jonathan who had mostly been silent on the renewed militancy in the region noted that it was impossible to have development in an environment devoid of peace, and called on traditional rulers, especially in Gbaramatu kingdom, to ensure there is peace in their kingdoms to mobilise their sons and daughters for the social and economic development of the people.
The former President stated this on Tuesday when he paid a visit to the troubled Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State for the official presentation of the staff of office to the Pere of Gbaramatu, His Royal Majesty, Oboro Gbaraun
“At this period, there are challenges in the country; there are challenges in the Niger Delta; there are challenges in the kingdom, but all these are temporary. Surely, the society will get over it. I believe Nigeria is still a great country and will continue to move on. The kingdom will succeed, the Niger Delta will succeed and Nigeria will succeed.
“The governor has given his charge, I don’t want to add more, but I always say there cannot be development without peace and the duty of every traditional ruler is to ensure that there is peace in his kingdom and you should be able to mobilise your sons and daughters for the social and economic development of the people and especially for Gbaramatu kingdom, where a lot of oil industry activities are going on, where you have people from all over the world coming to do one thing or the other,” he said.
Earler, Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, also sued for peace in the region bemoaning the sustained destruction of oil installations in the region which has affected revenue generation in the country.
Okowa said, “I’m happy the Ijaw could put themselves together for an occasion like this. I look forward to a greater community of love, peace and development.
“It’s time to heal the wounds for the state to move forward. You have reasons to feel bad, but it’s also possible to carry out agitations through dialogue and non-violent manner. It’s time to embrace peace; forgive those who need to be forgiven. We need to partner others to move forward. I’ve come to plead with you to embrace peace. It’s time to think back and reconcile.”
Meanwhile, the spokesman for Gbaramatu Kingdom, Chief Godspower Gbenekama, in his welcome address, had decried the unnecessary and non-stop invasion of Gbaramtu communities by military operatives and called on the Federal Government to accord the monarch the needed respect.
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