Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday received a delegation of Urhobo leaders, led by Chief Tuesday Onoge at the Presidential Villa, where he described the damaging of pipelines and oil installations in the Niger Delta as destruction of facilities meant to help the people of the region.
The vice president lamented that “so much damage is being done, governments will come and go, but these damages will ultimately destroy people’s livelihoods, aspirations and future”.
Osinbajo said: “Nobody else anywhere in the world will destroy the facilities meant to help them, there is no benefit whatsoever from the destruction.”
He maintained that the Buhari administration would continue its outreach to leaders and groups in the Niger Delta in seeking for peaceful solution to the crisis in the region.
Osinbajo, however, called for understanding, especially on the part of the leaders of the region, stressing that “destruction and damage do not lead to anything good”.
He also commented on the opened channels of communication and negotiation with the Niger Delta leaders and representatives.
According to him, President Muhammadu Buhari has shown exemplary leadership and is someone that can be trusted once he gives his word.
He said: “He (Buhari) is quiet, but fiercely determined, once he makes up his mind and gives his word.”
He also encouraged Niger Delta people to work with the President.
Osinbajo commended the delegation from the Urhobo Leaders of Thought, including the All Progressives Congress gubernatorial candidate in the 2015 elections, Olorogun Ortega Emerhor.
He also commended the leadership and understanding of the Urhobo Leaders of Thought.
Earlier, Onoge had lamented that if the money sent to the Niger Delta in the last 16 years was
judiciously spent, the people of the region would have benefitted, and asked “what happened to the monies?”.
The leader of the delegation, who pledged support to the Federal Government, criticised the vandalism of oil and gas installations in the Niger Delta and offered to assist in furthering peace in the region.
He said that the group supported the anti-corruption efforts of the Buhari administration.
In a related development, the vice president disclosed that the Federal Government was ready with the counterpart funding for the designated railway constructions from Lagos-Kano and Calabar-Lagos lines.
He said this when the new Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Zhou Pingjian, paid him a courtesy visit on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said the relationship between Nigeria and China was getting stronger and strategic.
The Chinese envoy said trade between both countries had increased and described Nigeria as “giant of Africa”.