Akpabio, Akume, Lokpobiri Ask Monarchs To Wage War Against Oil Theft

Nottingham Forest

Minister of state for petroleum, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, yesterday stressed that increased oil production would bring more resources into the region for its development.

He stated this at the 13th Extraordinary General Assembly of the Forum of Monarchs in the South-South region in Asaba, Delta State.

He spoke on the theme “Strengthening Stakeholder Collaboration for the Development of the South-South Region: The Role of the Traditional Institution.”

He said there was an urgent need to involve traditional rulers in peace building, especially in the fight against oil theft, illegal bunkering and unrest in the region.

Senate President Godswill Akpabio, who was represented by Senator Joel Onowakpo-Thomas, described the meeting as timely and called on government at all levels, politicians and other stakeholders from the region to synergise with traditional rulers in finding effective solutions to the challenges bedevilling the area.

On his part, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator George Akume, who was represented by Senator Jack Tilley-Gyado, advocated for constitutional roles for traditional rulers in the country so as to tackle the rising insecurity and at the same time, attract more sustainable development to their domains.

Delta State Governor Sheriff Oborevwori charged the Forum of Monarchs in the South-South region to remain pillars of integrity and fairness, mediating conflicts and upholding justice in their various domains without partiality.

The chairman of the forum, King Dr. Edmund Daukoru, Ningi XII, Amanyanabo of Nembe Kingdom, said the theme of this year’s meeting was on development in all its ramifications, noting that Nigeria’s development gaps were due primarily to lack of cooperation and synergy between stakeholders.

He said there was lack of consultation with traditional institutions by almost all tiers of government, adding that the traditional institution had been increasingly marginalised with each constitutional amendment “to the point where we are now entirely becoming out of the purview of the Constitution of the land we once indisputably led.”

In his goodwill message, the managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Chief Samuel Ogbuku, who gave an overview of the giant strides of the commission, disclosed that a lot of development was going on in different states under the NDDC mandate area, pointing out that data of youths was being compiled to formulate a template that would subsequently empower them.

Ogbuku, therefore, urged the people in the region to key into the policy framework of the commission so that they could benefit from its laudable initiatives.

In his welcome address, the chairman of Delta State Traditional Rulers’ Council, Major General Felix Mujakperuo (rtd) said the vision of the forum was to cross fertilise ideas on how to address the challenges of insecurity and under-development as well as promote peaceful co-existence.

 

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