*group advocates sustainable development in Niger Delta
By ONYEKACHUKWU MELUWA, Warri
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Delta State Council has assured a group known as the Revive Africa Initiative of collaboration towards ensuring that government at all levels are held accountable for good governance.
The chairman of the Council, Comrade Michael Ikeogwu made this assertion while playing host to members of the group during a courtesy visit at the NUJ Press Centre in Asaba, Delta State.
According to the chairman, “it is worthy to acknowledge that our youths are beginning to come to terms with the reality of how badly our leadership has hurt the people of this country with their lack of purposeful programmes and policies for good governance.
“Our major challenge in Africa is leadership. We have become a ground for experiment by the developed nations.
I must commend you as youths, for this initiative you have taken up towards addressing issues that affect us as a people and continent.
“I assure you that as progressive members of the fourth estate of the realm, we are always poised to support any initiative that is geared towards development and revival of Africa.
“From your programmes and agenda, both in the areas of education activism, fight against environmental degradation and youth reorientation, I must let you know that not enough awareness had been created to inform the public of the efforts you are making. But be rest assured that we will partner with you in media publicity and suggestions of ideas to guide you in some of the initiatives you will be working on going forward”, Ikeogwu affirmed.
The amiable chairman, however, decried the lack of focus of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC towards the actual needs and development of the Niger Delta region.
He called on the Federal Government to do a total overhaul of the Commission to enable it actualise its purpose for being established and see to it that the Niger Delta environment is safe for living, including implementing the Ogoni Clean-Up agreement.
The River Africa Initiative, led by its Director General, Amb. Comrade Ugagaoghene Ogheneyole said that the group decided to pay the courtesy visit to the NUJ as a critical stakeholder in leadership and development affairs.
The DG who gave the history of the group as having spanned for a period of two years, recounted that they started with prison activism where innocent detainees were released through the collaborative support of an international lawyer, Prince Ned Nwoko.
As part of its agitation, Comrade Ogheneyole said the group is into advocacy for prison decongestion, proper education and return to school campaigns, safe environment and violent free Niger Delta region.
The group equally affirmed that as part of its concern towards insecurity and violence in the Niger Delta, a Peace and Security Summit was recently organised at Koko in Delta State, with critical stakeholders, including youths drawn from all ethnic groups in the Niger Delta in attendance.
The DG in a nutshell, called for the partnership of the NUJ in propagating its programmes and objectives to the public. He therefore, handed over the communiqué released from the Security Summit, where a Committee known as the Peace Advancement Initiative Committee was set up.
Moreover, the leader of the Revive Africa Initiative, Comrade Ogheneyole called for the support of NUJ towards its planned mass rally in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State on the 5th of June, 2019, to draw the attention of government to the environmental degradation of the Niger Delta in marking the World Environmental Day.