President Muhammadu Buhari has met with governors of nine oil-producing states in Nigeria over concerns about developments in the Niger-Delta.
Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, who spoke with State House correspondents, said the meeting at the State House, Abuja, focused on the Niger-Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
The oil-producing states in Nigeria are Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers.
Dickson said: “We also discussed about fears and what we know is going on in the Nigeri-Delta Development Commission, NDDC, which is a critical agency.
“These are concerns that generally have to do with stability, security and development—and that is a broad spectrum.”
Meeting of minds.
According to Dickson, the meeting with President Buhari was a “meeting of minds” because the president understands the issues in the oil-producing region.
“We had a robust discussion—and the president fully understands, from his experience—the challenges, the cost of development and the peculiar challenges that come with being oil producing region.
“He has promised to look into and take steps regarding some of the observations that we came to make, which, by the way, he himself and his team, the Niger Delta Ministry are also on top of.
“So, more or less, we had a meeting of minds. We compared notes and all agreed on the challenges we all need to work together to address. That’s a good thing for the Niger Delta people.”
Peaceful governorship election
Governor Dickson called all stakeholders in Bayelsa State to join hands and work towards a peaceful gubernatorial election in the state on November 16 this year.
“We call for free, fair, credible and above all, peaceful governorship election.
“I am not on the ballot this time and I have always said that myself, as the leader of PDP (Peoples Democratic Party) and the leader of the leading opposition party who is a minister, should lead the charge and work together for peaceful, free and credible election.
“We, as a state and our party, are available and we are preaching that, and we will continue to support all to achieve peaceful election.
“So, my call back home to all politicians and parties; to all institutions of government, particularly, the INEC and the security agencies, is that all hands must literally be on deck.”
Reconciling party members
Governor Dickson said his government and the PDP were working to reconcile all members of the party who were aggrieved because of the outcome of the party’s primary in the state.
“Politics is about management of dissent; management of interests that are conflicting.
“Sometimes, even management of ego because you are dealing with human being and we are managing all of that.”
He expressed hope that his party would win the November 16 governorship election.