Minster of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, has declared that without the ancient oil-rich city of Warri, there’ll be no Nigerian government in existence.
This is just as the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar 111, has called for peace ahead of the 2019 ejection, saying it shouldn’t be a do-or-die.
Kachikwu and the Sultan made the declarations late Wednesday at the 3rd Coronation Anniversary of His Majesty (HM), Ogiame Ikenwoli, the Olu of Warri, held at the palace in Warri, Delta State.
Dr Kachikwu reiterated President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to fulfill all promises made as regards Warri ports, Warri Refinery and the Gas City Project.
“Warri and the Itsekiri Nation is of utmost importance; you produce huge amount of oil and gas to the country’s economy.
“Sometimes, we forget to acknowledge that without the existence of Warri, probably, there won’t be Nigeria Government.
“We appreciate, and I know there is a lot of glamour for what we’re not doing, I think the lack of contributions to Warri, and the Itsekiri Nation is the failure of successive governments in Nigeria, and it’s a problem we have determined to resolve.
“The President is extremely committed to that; he has promised the dredging of the ports, the contract have been awarded.
“He has promised the Ogidigben reactivation, instructions have been given on that, its a private sector-led effort.
“He has instructed that government companies should move forward, and as we go forward that will be very critical.
“He has promised the reactivation of Warri Refinery, as we talk now, we’re finalising the contractors relationship with private investors, to reactivate Warri refinery and bring it back to performance.
“He has promised that gas flare must be addressed as well as environmental degradation,” he disclosed.
According to the minister, the Ogoni cleanup has started and “we’re committed to do any cleanup where there is environmental attacks.”
Dr Kachikwu further stated that the flare commercialization programmes which the Federal Government has put in place and has passed through the Federal Executive Council will ensure that by 2020, every gas flared would be used for commercial purposes.
He commended the Delta State Government for supporting the traditional institution in the state, saying the rapport has curtailed militancy evidenced by the rise of crude oil production from one million barrel to two million barrel.
In his remarks, the Sultan of Sokoto,
His Eminence, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar 111, said his presence at the palace was for the unity of the country.
“The unity of our belief, our belief on the almighty God who created all of us, as one big family, with different cultural, and religious backgrounds.”
“We must continue to reach out to one another, irrespective of our backgrounds, our presence here today is the testimony of our beliefs in the goodness of the good people of Nigeria,” the monarch noted.
The Sultan described the Olu of Warri as a man of peace, who loves humanity.
He, therefore, affirmed that with the peace accord already signed by the presidential candidates of various parties in Abuja, as facilitated by the National Peace Committee, Nigerians should follow suit and play by the rules.
The two-long coronation anniversary event has witnessed the presence of eminent personalities including Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, former CAN president, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, Chief Great Ogboru and Mr Amaju Pinnick, among others.