Port Harcourt — A coalition of Niger Delta youths have expressed confidence that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, would tackle pipeline vandalism and other violent acts, disrupting the operations of oil companies in the Niger Delta region.
The groups under the auspices of Niger Delta Youth Coalition for Peace and Progress, NDYCPP, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing credible and tested leaders from Niger Delta to drive his development plans and urged the Federal Government to leverage on their competence to develop the region.
A statement by President of NDYCPP, Olayinka Tiedor, disclosed that Chief Sylva was instrumental in the setting up of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, which brought peace to the once restive region, and as a Minister was better positioned to drive progress and growth in the oil and gas sector.
According to the statement, “Sylva has earned the respect of Niger Delta youths because he has manifested passion for their well-being and he can tackle youth involvement in vandalism of pipelines and other violent acts, disrupting the operations of oil companies in the Niger Delta.
“Sylva should quickly convene a strategic youth stakeholder’s policy-dialogue to point the direction of Government clearly and assertively so that everyone would queue behind him to achieve set targets.
“The dialogue can come up with clear policies and programmes that would stamp out violent behaviour from the creeks of the Niger Delta, by providing alternative legitimate means of livelihood for the people.
“Although he is still early, this is an auspicious time for him to engage the people to feel their pulse and tap from their pool of suggestions that could even turn things around for the good of all.”
The coalition also pledged to collaborate with other Ministers from the region, to ensure that they are given a conducive environment to develop the region and appealed the Sylva to lead the way.
They noted that the selection of competent hands was an indication of genuine intentions by the Federal Government for the Niger Delta, while applauding the pedigree of cabinet members from the region and urged the Federal Government to leverage on their competence to develop the area.
“Niger Delta Youth Coalition for Peace and Progress thanks President MuhammaduBuhari, GCFR, for the appointment of well-grounded, distinguished sons of the Niger Delta, to his cabinet.
“These appointees are well-known high achievers, whose appointment brought about wide-spread jubilant excitement across party-divide on the length and breadth of the Niger Delta.
“Chief Sylva, Minister of state, Petroleum Resources, is remembered for midwifing the Amnesty programme which restored peace to the once restive region and as a Minister is better positioned to drive progress in the oil and gas space.
“With Senator Godswill Akpabio in charge of Niger Delta Ministry, he will re-enact infrastructural revolution that marked his tenure as Governor of Akwa Ibom being supported by Festus Keyamo, another patriot with passion for Niger Delta development.
“Also Rotimi Amaechi, well-loved by the youths of the Niger Delta, has made giant strides in the infrastructural rebirth of the once moribund Railways resulting to his reappointment to drive the policy on revitalizing the rail system to a logical conclusion,” NDYCPP stated.