Economy

Buhari to Ogonis: We will not shortchange any section

by TONY AILEMEN, Abuja

September 14, 2018 | 5:47 pm
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President Muhammadu Buhari Friday in Abuja assured Nigerians that all the country’s resources will be retained and utilised for the benefit of all citizens, with a strong focus on infrastructure.

This is just as the political rift between Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and Magnus Abe, a serving Senator representing Rivers South East Senatorial District, played out on Friday, as both personalities took their battle for the soul of Rivers State to the Presidential Villa.

But President Buhari while addressing the group urged the Ogoni people to remain in touch with him

“We will not abuse the trust. What belongs to Nigeria stays in Nigeria and will be utilised by Nigerians,’’ President Buhari told a delegation of Ogoni leaders from the Supreme Council of Ogoni Traditional Rulers and elected leaders of MOSOP, at the State House.

The delegation also included KAGOTE, the academia, women, community and religious leaders.

The President said the challenge of infrastructure in Ogoni-land would have been long resolved with more focus and commitment to improving the lives of the people, instead of the award and re-awarding of contracts without implementation.

President Buhari urged the leaders to prevail on their youths and sensitize their communities more on the benefits of the clean-up process, especially with the involvement of the international community.

“Certainly I am aware of the challenges in Ogoni-land. But I want to appeal to you as institutionalized leaders to speak more to the youths. With patience, we will prevail together in restoring the environment, especially with involvement of international community,’’ he said.

The President noted that the degradation of the environment over the years had undermined the economy of the Ogoni people, adding that commercial farming and fishing will pick up after the restoration.

“We are working hard to change the situation. I know that if we had power in the country, many Nigerians will create and face their businesses,’’ he said.

In his remarks, the leader of the delegation, His Royal Majesty King GNK Ogininwa commended the President for the achievements recorded in restoring security and the economy, while calling for more Federal Government attention on the plight of the people in Ogoni-land.

“Through you, Mr President, we will achieve great things in Ogoni-land,’’ he added.

King Ogininwa conferred the title of “menu-doo-lemu’’ on the President, meaning the “the King of Doing Good Things in Ogoni-land’’.

A member of the delegation, Walter Ollor, presented a list of the needs of the Ogoni people, which includes a national recognition for the Ogoni 12 and Ken Saro-wiwa, improved security, repatriation of refugees in Togo and Benin, and establishment of a Centre for Environmental Excellence.

But bot Amaechi and Magnus Abe who are laying claims to headship of the All Progressive Congress APC in the state, were seen fighting for President Buhari’s attention Friday, as delegation of Ogoni leaders from the Supreme Council of Ogoni Traditional Rulers and elected leaders of MOSOP to the State House to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari.

Amaechi had on hearing that Abe was among the delegation meeting with the President, promptly invited Tonye-Cole, his favoured governorship aspirant for next year’s election to also come to the Villa.

But speaking with State House Correspondents after the meeting, Abe who is contesting to become the governor of the state in 2019, described his disagreement with Amaechi as “ political” adding that “We were best of friends before politics divided us.”

He also insisted that it was the turn of the Ogonis to present the Governor in 2019.

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by TONY AILEMEN, Abuja

September 14, 2018 | 5:47 pm
  |     |     |   Start Conversation

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