The Speaker, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Barr. Onofiok Luke has urged the National Assembly to expedite legislative action on the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, in order to fast-track the development of the Niger Delta region.
He gave the charge, yesterday, while declaring open the 2016 Annual General Meeting of ‘Partners for Peace (P4P) In The Niger Delta’ holding at the EEMJM Hotels and Suites, Uyo.
Barr. Luke who identified causes of unrest in the oil rich Niger Delta region, observed that there was urgent need to revisit the PIB bill. He stressed the need for people of the region in particular and Nigerians as a whole to engage our federal lawmakers and demand for expeditious passage of the petroleum industry bill, maintaining that when passed into law the PIB would enhance the development of the region and the country.
Expressing disappointment in the slow pace of work done on the Akwa Ibom State flank of the East-West road, the Speaker appealed to the federal government to make efforts towards the completion of the road. He observed that the quality and pace of work done on the Akwa Ibom section of the road is not in consonance with what is done in other benefitting Niger Delta states.
Speaking on the theme of the four-day meeting, “Networking for Sustainability”, Barr. Luke who commended the organizers for choosing Akwa Ibom as the host of the Annual General Meeting, urged politicians to be mindful of their utterances, saying most of the conflicts and tension witnessed in some parts of the country today could be traced to some unguarded utterances of politicians.
He said: “I want to use this opportunity to tell the politicians of our great country, not only within this region but everywhere in the world, to give peace a chance. I want to tell them to be mindful of their utterances. They should engage in utterances that would make for peace. They should eschew utterances that could lead to violence. Crave for political power should not get to the extent of a do-or-die affair”.
He said the choice of the theme was apt for the moment, and identified possible actions that could be taken by actors for the sustenance of peace in the region.
“The world today is bedeviled by crises and conflicts not only within our region, not only at the larger world, but even within our little communities. So your effort is a commendable one. It is geared towards solving one of the greatest challenges that we have had as a people.”
Participants at the four-day meeting are drawn from the nine states in the Niger Delta region. In attendance at the meeting were, the Chief Whip of the House of Assembly, Mr. Emmanuel Ekpenyong; National Coordinator, P4P, Mr. Philip Kalio; Network Cordinator, P4P, Chief Lawal Africas; among others