Oborevwori Stresses Environmental Challenges to South-South Monarchs

By JKNMedia

PRESSING ENVIRONMENTAL challenges hindering the sustainable development of Nigeria’s South-South region at the 13th Extraordinary General Assembly of the Forum of Monarchs in Asaba were the hallmark of Delta State Governor Sheriff Oborevwori’s address to the monarchs.

At the meeting which held in the Unity Hall of the Government House, Oborevwori hinged on “Strengthening Stakeholder Collaboration for the Development of the South-South Region: The Role of the Traditional Institution.”

The governor identified receding coastlines, declining aquaculture, and extreme weather conditions as significant obstacles affecting the region’s ecosystem and overall development, urging the traditional rulers to maintain their roles as pillars of integrity and fairness, mediating conflicts and upholding justice in their domains.

“There is no doubt that you occupy a unique and very critical place in governance. Today, we gather to recognize the pivotal role our traditional rulers play in the fabric of our community. You are the custodians of our rich heritage and the guardians of our cultural values,” Oborevwori stated.

Emphasizing the importance of unity and collaboration, he encouraged monarchs to bridge the gap between communities and the government, highlighting the need for fostering education and innovation while preserving traditions, promoting inclusiveness, and working closely with the government and private organizations to bring development to their regions, particularly in infrastructure, healthcare, and education.

President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio, represented by Senator Joel Onowakpo-Thomas, described the meeting as timely as he called for synergy between government officials, politicians, and traditional rulers to find effective solutions to the region’s challenges.

Senator Ede Dafinone, representing Delta Central at the National Assembly, echoed this sentiment, urging all South-South natives to contribute to the region’s development. Meanwhile, Chief Samuel Ogbuku, Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), outlined the Commission’s ongoing developmental projects and emphasized the importance of youth empowerment through data-driven initiatives.

Minister of State for Petroleum, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, stressed the need for traditional rulers to play a vital role in peacebuilding efforts, particularly in combating oil theft, illegal bunkering, and unrest. He noted that increased oil production could bring more resources to the region.

Senator George Akume, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, represented by Senator Jack Tilley-Gyado, advocated for constitutional roles for traditional rulers to address rising insecurity and enhance sustainable development.

King Dr. Edmund Daukoru, Chairman of the South-South Monarchs Forum, lamented the marginalization of traditional institutions in governance. He noted that lack of cooperation and consultation between stakeholders contributed significantly to Nigeria’s development gaps.

In his welcome address, Major-General Felix Mujakperuo (rtd.), Chairman of the Delta State Traditional Rulers’ Council, emphasized the Forum’s vision of addressing insecurity and under-development, while promoting peaceful coexistence through shared ideas and collaboration.

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