The Federal Government has warned the people of Niger Delta region that the destruction of oil facilities will ultimately destroy their livelihoods, aspirations and future.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo gave the warning at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja on Tuesday while meeting with a group known as the Urhobo Leaders of Thought led by its president, Chief Tuesday Onoge.
According to the vice president, vandalising pipelines and oil installations in the Niger Delta is akin to destroying facilities meant to help the people of the region.
“So much damage is being done. Governments will come and go, but these damages will ultimately destroy people’s livelihoods, aspirations and their future. Nobody else anywhere in the world will destroy the facilities meant to help them. There is no benefit whatsoever from the destruction,” he said.
The vice president, who called for understanding of the Niger Delta leaders, cautioned that “destruction and damage does not lead to anything good.”
He said the Federal Government would continue its outreach to leaders and groups in the Niger Delta in seeking peaceful resolution of the crisis.
He noted that President Muhammadu Buhari had demonstrated an exemplary leadership by opening channels of communication and negotiation with the Niger Delta leaders and representatives.
“President Buhari is quiet, but fiercely determined once he makes up his mind and gives his word,” the vice president stated.
A statement by Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, quoted Onoge as lamenting that if the funds sent to the Niger Delta in the last 16 years were judiciously spent, the people of the region would have benefited; asking “What happened to these monies?”
Onoge was also quoted as saying that his group condemned the destruction of oil and gas installations in the Niger Delta and promised to assist in ensuring peace in the region.
The leader of the delegation also declared his group’s support to the ongoing anti-corruption war of President Buhari’s administration.