President Goodluck Jonathan has said that the current security situation in the Niger Delta region is a top priority of his administration as they are working to deepen the foundations of durable and mutually beneficial peace.
President Jonathan who was represented by Vice President Namadi Sambo made this known at the Inauguration of the National Council on Niger Delta, held at Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State Capital.
The Vice President was present at the Stakeholders’ first National Council on Niger Delta which was organised by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.
Pertinent issues bothering on the security and development challenges facing the Niger Delta were discussed at the event which was attended by experts, technocrats, traditional rulers, the Civil Society.
Governors Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo state and his Delta state counterpart, Emmanuel Uduaghan as well as the Secretary to the Cross River State government, Mike Aniah were present at the ceremony.
Top on the deliberations was the consideration of implementation of the Niger Delta Action Plan, by the administration of President Jonathan, to compliment the specific commitments contained in the Amnesty Programme.
The president said he believes that the action plan will be of great relevance and will serve as a coherent programme for investments in the social and infrastructure sectors of the various communities of the region, thereby encouraging participation.
He went on to call for active support and collaboration of major stakeholders in the oil and gas industry, development partners, states, communities and specialized interest groups partner the region for a new reinforced phase of effective development in the Niger Delta.
Speaking at the event, Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio disclosed that, the people of the Niger Delta region have in the past being relegated to the background in terms of development in the midst of abundant human and natural resources.
He advocated for the non-inclusion of the Niger Delta Development Commission as a parastatal under the Ministry, noting that the region deserves an agency solely headed by its people.