DELTA State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa has urged the people of Niger Delta to sustain the existing peace in the region.
The Governor made the call at the weekend while delivering an address at the 2017 edition of Urhobo Day celebration organised annually by the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU).
“It behoves all political, business, community, youth leaders as well as the traditional institutions to ensure that the peace we are currently enjoying in the Niger Delta is sustained, because, with the resumption of oil export from the Forcados Trunk, the finances of the State have begun to improve in the last two months; maintaining peace in the region will greatly boost the economy and enhance our capabilities to deliver on all on-going and new projects, and ultimately bring joy to Deltans,” the Governor said.
He continued, “our people need to realise that it is the economy of the State that suffers more when oil installations are vandalised, leading to disruption in oil production and export and I urge opinion moulders to impress it on the youth in our communities to please stay calm, and embrace the opportunities available in our job creation programmes.”
The Governor who praised the UPU for organising the event, “which is geared at promoting love and unity in the Urhobo nation,” asserted, “the UPU has acquitted itself as one of the few credible, reputable and enduring socio-cultural organisations with clear focus, unambiguous objectives, proven track record and visionary leadership and I am firmly persuaded that we need more of such upstanding socio-cultural groups to celebrate our cultural diversity, enhance inter-ethnic harmony and advance community development.”
The Governor who expressed his belief in one Delta saying, “I am firmly persuaded that the creation of Delta State was not an accident of history or a product of political miscalculation but, divine providence at work,” emphasised, “I have every reason to consider myself as part of the Urhobo nation; the acceptance and goodwill I received prior to and during the 2015 governorship election were unprecedented and, indeed, humbling; I won majority of the total votes cast in Delta Central, sparking widespread jubilation of a new dawn of unity and progress in Delta State.”
“My victory was possible because the Urhobos believed in my pan-Deltan ideology and historical antecedent of building bridges and forging political alliances across ethnic barriers and beyond primordial considerations,” the Governor who arrived the venue of the event with former Governor of the state, Chief James Ibori said.
Earlier in an address, the President-General of UPU worldwide, Olorogun (Dr.) Moses Taiga, reeled out the achievements of the UPU, and commended the Governor Okowa’s administration for providing the enabling environment for different ethnic groups in the state to work in unison for the development of the state.
High point of the event was the unveiling of Urhobo language curriculum for schools.