Delta State Governor, Sen. (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa has restated that his choice of deputy, Barr. (Deacon) Kingsley Burutu Otuaro, was revealed to him by God, adding that the nation beyond Delta State was benefiting from Otuaro’s adventures for peace.
Okowa gave his goodwill message at a public lecture on the theme “Governance, Security and Peacebuilding in the Niger Delta”, delivered by Prof Isaac Oluwole Albert of the University of Ibadan, who hailed and recommended Governor Okowa’s educational/skills acquisition programmes as a functional education model for other states and Nigeria.
A book holding the theme of the lecture as title was presented by the Society for Peace Studies and Practice (SPSP) who put up the event in honour of Otuaro at 50 years.
Okowa noted that he set up the Otuaro-led Advocacy Committee Against Vandalism of Oil and Gas Facilities which has done a lot of work and built a lot of peace platforms across the Niger Delta with success.
“People had to realise that oil facility vandalism is inimical to the state and economy. Fortunately, in the past 6 months, I must say that resources have improved due to the peace achieved. With more resources, we can touch more lives”, Okowa said.
The Governor said there was need for more partnerships for peace: “The Federal Government (FG) is realising that states were critical components in the search for peace. We need traditional rulers, youths, President Generals and other critical blocks which will be engaged, going forward”.
He promised that the book ‘Governance, Security and Peacebuilding in the Niger Delta” written by the SPSP in honour of Otuaro at 50 years, will be made available to all Traditional Rulers and President-General of all Communities in a bid to ensure peace is fully restored to the state.
In his vote of thanks made available to newsmen, Otuaro who was invested as Fellow of the SPSP appreciated all who touched his life, including Evang. Eddy Owase of Christ Embassy Church for his relentless prayers for him, and advised Niger Delta agitators not to shoot self in the foot by vandalism of oil facilities which pollutes the environment for survival.
“Let us think of ways to maximally engage government to benefit optimally from our oil before it runs dry or lose its value in a world gradually shifting its focus to other sources of energy. There are more bridges and road projects and other infrastructure that would require huge revenue and expedited attention in the riverine areas for our socio-economic advancement”, Otuaro advised.
Otuaro pointed to Prof Isaac Olawole and others who are known experts that can be engaged by the FG to successfully tackle the challenges posed by Boko Haram, IPOB and the Niger Delta question among others, stressing: “The FG should employ win-win approach and please see no sacrifice as too big to achieve peace in all parts of the country including the Niger Delta”.