Echoes from Niger Delta leaders’ parley

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President Muhammadu Buhari (M) flanked by Vice President Prof Yemi Osinbajo, Elder Statesman, Chief EK Clark in a group photos with cross section of Niger Delta Stakeholders after a meeting at the State house Council Chamber in Abuja.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday met with leaders from oil rich Niger Delta who presented a 16-point demands to the president.

The demands of the stakeholders concern development, security and amnesty programme, said former Governor Diette-Spiff.

Elder statesman Edwin Clark dismissed insinuation that there was a rift between Niger Delta people and President Buhari’s administration.

They leaders condemned the criminality, destruction of valuable national assets, Governot Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state reported.

The meeting had been scheduled to kick-start the dialogue with militants who have taken up arms and have been destroying oil facilities.

President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Prof Yemi Osinbajo, Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa and others as President holds meeting with the Niger Delta Stakeholders at the Council Chamber in Abuja.

The resurgence of militancy in the region in May 2016 took the nation by surprise as the Amnesty programmes of the former regime was still in place.

The meeting with Niger Delta stakeholders was to deliberate on how to find a lasting solution to the menace of militancy, especially finding answers to the demands of the militants.

The meeting was also by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, some governors, ministers and other political appointees from the oil rich region.

The governors are those from Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Imo and deputy governor of Rivers.
Others are Service Chiefs, Inspector-General of Police Idris Ibrahim and Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Alhaji Lawal Daura, as well as traditional rulers and representatives of militant groups.

Also attending are former governors, civil rights activists and community leaders from the Niger Delta region, including Obong Victor Attah, Chief Edwin Clark, Timi Aliabe, Diette Spiff, Ledu Mitee, and Florence Ita-Giwa.

The meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, started around 12.10p.m.

The stakeholders are expected to make submissions on issues that border on the economic and human capital development as well as security and restoration of peace in the region.

The meeting with the president is also expected to “focus on socio-economic development of the region as well as building a strong synergy with multinational oil companies operating in the area”.

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