Gov. Okorocha urges youth to jettison militancy
The Governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, has flagged-off the two-day 2016 edition of the Niger Delta Development Forum in Owerri, Imo State.
Okorocha urged the youth of the region to jettison militancy to save the region from economic stagnation.
Welcoming the participants to the annual forum organised by the Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta, founded by Chevron in 2010, its partners, representatives of Niger Delta States, the Deputy Governor of Imo State, Prince Eze Madumere, who represented Governor Okorocha, described Imo as a State known for its resourcefulness and peaceful disposition.
Prince Madumere stated that the State’s major business is education, which he said the people have benefited from the power and influence education offers.
He praised Governor Okorocha for his practical effort in offering free and qualitative education to all the students and pupils of this great State.
He said this had been on in the last five years.
Speaking on the importance of the forum, Madumere said: “Niger Delta Development Forum has remained a veritable platform where development strategies are marshalled-out towards fostering economic corporation among the people of Niger Delta region since its foundation by Chevron in 2010.
“The forum avails us the opportunity for information sharing and collaborative proceeding that also help to enlighten the participants the unique local context of pursuing development initiatives in the Niger Delta.”
Madumere averred that 2016 edition is not only timely, but will look into designing a model that will not only spark-off a pragmatic approach towards addressing issues that affect the region, especially the economic melt-down, which he said is occasioned by the global fall in oil price and internal security challenges.
He said that the Niger Delta region seeks a partnership will create a sustainable economy and create employment for its teeming youth.
Madumere, however, voted for a total shift from the old ways in the oil producing communities, which he described as borehole welfare and skill acquisition leaving the environment unfriendly.
He called for re-focus in the area of power generation and infrastructures that will aide economic development, which he called a mutually partnership.
He called for adoption of Ethiopian Model to resuscitate the productive sector especially manufacturing and building capacity in science and technology.
He decried the marginalization of Imo State in particular with no effort in developing its infrastructure to tap into its natural gas deposit, which he said is largest in the sub Saharan region.
While decrying the militancy in the region, Madumere stated that Okorocha has taken the bull by the horn by brining various militant groups together and collaborated with the security agencies for disarmament.
He also stated that a process has begun as rehabilitation is also part of the government programme.
He called on other youth to totally jettison militancy, stressing that it is counterproductive to the expected economic development in the region.
Earlier in his speech, the Executive Director of Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta, Sam Daibo, hinted the organisation has already marshaled out four mutually reinforcing programmes, comprising economic development, capacity building, and analysis and advocacy as part of the measures to foster peace and tranquility in the Niger Delta region.
According to Daibo, PIND and USAID co-funded the strengthen Advocacy for Aid engagement project and started the NTALKNDI’S initiative that tracked Niger Delta institutions responsible for delivering services and produced a report titled: “Citizen report card on the Niger Delta Institutions.”
He added that the result of the findings has begun a general online conversation on accountability, good governance and leadership in the region that could only result in sustained Socio-economic growth.