Akwa Ibom State governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, has identified underdevelopment, unemployment and insecurity as the major challenges faced by the Niger Delta and therefore called for a robust collaboration
among them to address these challenges in the region.
He made this declaration in a goodwill message he presented at a- 3-day retreat for cabinet members of the Bayelsa State Government, at Ibom Icon Hotels and Golf Resort, in Uyo, at the weekend.
The governor who identified these three major challenges among others, noted that such has been the crux on the wheel of development in the Niger Delta region.
He challenged leaders from the region to play their roles effectively, so that the challenges in the region could be surmounted regardless of support from the central government.
“Leadership is not easy. When we talk about leadership, unfortunately in Nigeria everybody is looking at the governor, everybody inside this room is a leader and if we all play our roles as leaders, we will be better off.
“We in the Niger Delta region are not fortunate in so many ways, I have almost finished 6 years, not even one kilometre of road constructed by the federal government in my state, I don’t know if you have there.
“With all the crude oil exploration in my state, I don’t have a depot so what does that mean, it means we must struggle, we must find a way for our people and we must work for our indigene.
“The time for us to sit back and wait for others to do something for us is gone, we must see what we can do for the entire region, if we can collaborate as a state, then the countries collaborate as Africa, then we have a whole lot to offer each other”.
The governor charged Bayelsa State cabinet members to make the retreat count, urging them to apply the lessons in their assigned duties and responsibility.
He stressed on creativity, loyalty, commitment and love for their state as a yardstick that will further drive their passions towards effective service.
“I love the brainstorming session; you see that whatsoever you study in theory you still need to go back and put it into practice, so I believe that whatever we learn here I just believe we will go back and get it done.
“Loyalty starts with what you deliver in your own ministry, that is the way I count mine because at the end of the day where things go wrong no one will mention the commissioners, they will mention the governor, so your relationship with the governor should not be defined by how much money he puts in your ministry, you should be passionate about service to the state.
“If you love the state honestly the governor is covered, because whatever you love you care for, whatever you care for you protect and whatsoever you protect, you service”, he noted.
In his response the Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Duoye Diri, thanked Governor Udom Emmanuel for a warm reception and hospitality accorded his cabinet members throughout the retreat.
Senator Diri, expressed optimism that the cordial relationship between the two states will continue to foster greater ties that will proffer solutions to the peculiar challenges among the states and the region.
” I want to appreciate you and thank you profusely on behalf of the government and people of Bayelsa State.
“We came in here and we were received warmly and of course the entire country knows of the hospitality of Akwa Ibom State and that has been shown to all of us here.
“We are very appreciative and we believe that this cordial relationship between your state and our state will continue to grow from strength to strength, and we know as a people who have shared problems and challenges, as a people who have a common geographical location, a common culture, to a large extent we have a lot in common, that we can pursue as a group.
“I believe when we unite to pursue them most of the issues we have pursued together with God on our side, we will bring succour to the people of Niger Delta, the people of Akwa Ibom, and to the people of Bayelsa State”.