Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Friday admitted that people of the oil-rich Niger Delta deserve justice, especially considering their years of neglect by past administrations.
According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, the Vice President spoke at a meeting of relevant government Ministries, Departments and Agencies involved in restoring peace in the region.
The meeting called to assess ongoing engagements with the people of the region was held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“The President believes the people of the Niger Delta deserve justice, and for me also it is a very important point. The state of the region and the suffering of the people do not reflect the fact that it is the resource base of the country.
“In spite of the past leadership failure, the Niger Delta people deserved a fair deal,” he was quoted to have said.
Osinbajo said the meeting was meant to ensure that the government is faithful to the promises and the spirit of the presidential engagements with the people of the region.
The Minister of State for Environment, Alhaji Ibrahim Jubril, was said to have told the meeting that the ministry has fully engaged the Ogoni Clean-Up Project Coordinator, Dr. Marvin Dekil.
Jubril said the potential contractors have been visiting the site to demonstrate available and suitable technology to be used for the clean-up.
Osinbajo also received a delegation of western diplomats from countries involved in the oil industry in Nigeria.
The delegation was led by the Dutch Envoy in Nigeria, Ambassador John Groffen, and included Ambassadors, High Commissioners or their deputies from United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, United States and the European Union.
The Vice-President told the diplomats that the idea of the interactive engagements with the oil-producing communities resulted from President Muhammadu Buhari after he met with leaders from the region last November.
He added that the present administration is working on how to make a positive and long-lasting impact in the region in a way that transforms the lives of the people from the “treasure trove of Nigeria.”
Speaking on behalf of the delegation, Groffen said the countries represented at the meeting would like to stay involved in the dialogue.