President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has assured the South-South monarchs that he would prioritize the development of the Niger Delta.
Tinubu disclosed this on Tuesday when traditional rulers, led by the Chairman of Delta State Traditional Rulers Council, the Orodje of Okpe Kingdom, Maj.-Gen. Felix Mujakperuo, were at the State House to seek presidential intervention for the welfare of the people and physical development for their region.
The monarchs listed their requestd to include the creation of employment opportunities for youths, completion of the East-West Road and the Itakpe-Abuja Railway.
Tinubu assured the royal fathers that they the requests would be treated one after another.
They bemoaned the dilemma of the oil-rich region, despite being the mainstay source of the nation’s economy.
While speaking State House reporters after meeting with the President, the Okpe monarch, who was flanked by the paramount ruler of Emuoha Kingdom in Rivers State, Sergeant Awuse, explained that the delegation visited to present its catalogue of requests for the development of Niger-Delta.
Maj.Gen. Mujakperuo, who condemned the infrastructure deficit in the region, identified the need to equip the youths and fix the the Itakpe-Abuja Railway, which according to him, it would enhance safe trips from Warri to Abuja.
The monarchs equally sought the resuscitation of the abandoned ports in the region, noting that it will facilitate employment for the people and also improve the economy of Nigeria.
The royal fathers said, “We come to our listening President with a catalogue of our request in the region In the region we produce and we give resources to the country and yet we are suffering amid plenty.
“So, we just have to catalogue our sufferings and what we want the President to do for us so that we can feel that we are part of this country the President said he would listen he would look at our request and he would do the needful.
“We also felt that he should try and link up Itakpe to Railway to Abuja Railway so that right from Warri, we can safely drive to Abuja, what about the abandoned ports?
“We feel that if those ports are revived it will bring employment for our people and it will improve the economy of this country.”
“We want to have that sense of belonging of continuing to talk to the people and above all is also to look at the infrastructure of the region.”
The president promised to take the monarchs’ requests one after the other.
Tinubu assured the region of his administration’s commitment to addressing all their development and environmental concerns.
On the significance of the traditional institution, the president pointed out that royal fathers have the intelligence needed for the holistic development of the country.
Tinubu informed the monarchs that his administration was working to rebuild Nigeria and approach to climate change, environmental restoration, infrastructure development while ensuring security and stability in the region.
While lauding the monarchs for their understanding approach to his administration’s ongoing economic reforms, particularly the removal of the fuel subsidy, Tinubu vowed that Nigerians would soon enjoy the benefits of these tough, yet necessary decisions.
Spokesman to the President, Ajuri Ngelale quoted his boss as saying in a statement “We are working to revive the economy from the damage of several years. We seek your support, prayers, and understanding, and I am glad that the vice chairman of the forum served in an organisation where we need intelligence to operate.
“You (the traditional institution) will be the source of the intelligence we need for the holistic development of our country, and anytime you need to tell us something, do not hesitate to reach out to this office. I will take on all of your concerns, and I will address each of them one by one.
“We cannot underestimate your contributions to the peace and stability of this country. Continue to uphold us in your prayers and in talking to our youths to keep faith with the country because light is already visible at the end of the tunnel.”