Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, on Tuesday, regretted that the current tension in the Niger Delta was created by the immediate past Peoples Democratic Party, PDP-led administration through the empowerment of people he described as “wrong guys who showed capacity for violence.”
He urged the new Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru and the Minister of State, Niger Delta Affairs, Prof. Claudius Daramola to reform the ministry, saying, “You have a huge challenge due to the disastrous performance of your predecessors under the last PDP government which made more noise about the Niger Delta than work.
“They empowered the wrong people because they showed capacity for violence and then ignored the real people who were peaceful, who just wanted development. Therefore, you have a huge task to bring development and carry out massive reforms for our people and you need to re-enlighten our people to recognise that the long term challenge of bringing prosperity to our people will not necessarily continue to be driven by intervention agencies, it has to do with creating jobs and making the region peaceful.”
Oshiomhole spoke when the new leadership of the Niger Delta Ministry, led by the minister, Pastor Uguru, paid him a courtesy visit at Government House, Benin City.
Uguru, who spoke earlier, said: “We are in the state to assess the progress in the Niger Delta states. It is our position that we should not begin projects in the state without the knowledge, commitment and collaboration of the home government because this will help us in future planning to agree even before we propose any project.
“We want to channel our resources in a way that will be best utilized so as to avoid wastage. We are also going to take priorities very seriously, we will put resources where they will be optimally utilized.”
Oshiomhole further admonished the ministry to pay serious attention to the issue of environmental degradation. “I am very worried about the damage to the environment by major oil companies that are allowed to flare their gas even in the 21st century. The technologies are there. It is possible to convert the gas we are wasting away to resources for our country,” he said.