Use oil wealth to better lot of Nigerians, U.S. tells FG

Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson (second left); his deputy, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (rtd.) (left); Deputy Chief of Mission of the United States Embassy in Nigeria, David Young; Consul-General, U.S. Embassy, John Bray and the Chief of Political and Economic Section of the U.S. Embassy, Tom Hines, during a courtesy call by the embassy officials to Government House, Yenagoa...yesterday.

Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson (second left); his deputy, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (rtd.) (left); Deputy Chief of Mission of the United States Embassy in Nigeria, David Young; Consul-General, U.S. Embassy, John Bray and the Chief of Political and Economic Section of the U.S. Embassy, Tom Hines, during a courtesy call by the embassy officials to Government House, Yenagoa…yesterday.

• Tompolo loses father

The Deputy Chief of Mission at the United States Embassy in Nigeria, David Young, yesterday, said the nation’s major challenge remains transforming its oil wealth into improvement in the life of the average citizen. A development, he noted, “the United States felt very strongly about.”

Speaking during a courtesy call on Governor Seriake Dickson in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, the envoy said the U.S. believes that all stakeholders must be engaged in a genuine dialogue to find an equitable solution to the Niger Delta impasse.

Young held that the region remains critical to the nation just as his country views Nigeria as important and critical partner.Accompanied by other top embassy officials, including the Consul-General, John Bray and the Chief of Political and Economy section, Tom Hines, he urged Nigerians to work for common goals to end violence and curb criminal activities.

Young also stressed the need for government to establish conditions and mechanisms over time and provide economic services to Niger Delta people and the entire citizenry.

“United States officials visit regularly in our engagement with senor officials and we focus on promoting transparency and fiscal responsibility.“Nigeria is a very, very important and critical partner of the United States and the Niger Delta is a critical region as well, within the country so we are very committed to engaging with and being involved in a very important and ongoing way,” he said.

Governor Dickson said the state knows fully that the issues affecting the region could be resolved amicably through dialogue.While describing Bayelsa as the epicentre, he said working together honestly and sincerely with a clear roadmap was one of the genuine steps to resolving the impasse. Meanwhile, former militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo (aka Tompolo), has lost his father, Thomas.

The senior Ekpemupolo, passed on yesterday around 10:00a.m. at an undisclosed hospital in Delta State according to a very reliable source.The 72-year-old was reportedly injured during the military invasion of Kurutie, his hometown in Gbaramatu community during the search for his son, and had been hospitalised ever since.

Although the immediate cause of his death was not known as at press time, but the source however, said: “He gave up this morning at about 10:00a.m. as he has been battling for life for some months.”

In this article:
David YoungSeriake Dickson
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4 Comments
  • Basil Ogbanufe

    May his soul rest in peace.

  • Oduche Azih

    It is difficult to discern the exact nature of US interest in Nigeria at all times. That interest may have some fixed and variable components such that, to copy the Iranian example pre-1979, the US administration, in pursuit of a strategic objective, may overtly support an incompetent and repressive Nigerian administration. The recent visit to Northern Nigeria by US Secretary of State, Mr John Kerry, has drawn a lot of flak from insenced Southerners and Christians alike.The question often asked has been, “Why exactly did Kerry come to Nigeria?”

    Nigerians have been at a loss over this matter. Kerry landed in Abuja and held consultations with a highly unpopular former military dictator who recently wormed his way into an elected presidency. As if to confirm the rabidly Islamic slant of Buhari’s administration, Kerry proceeded to hold further consultations with Islamic religious leaders ftom only the north, headed by the Sultan of Sokoto. Understandably the southern press and online social media have taken up this matter. And we are still not getting any answers, convincing or not.

    It is under this cloud of suspicion and distrust that a large retinue if US consular officials, probably from the Lagos outpost, are dispatched to Bayelsa State to advise the governor and perhaps the natives to ensure that oil wealth is applied judiciously to the benefit of the people. To undertake such a perilous journey, in the midst of the ongoing Niger Delta insurgency, is supposed to be read as a show of true commitment to the affairs of the south, after the recent glaring slight by Kerry. It is instructive that the US never took the trouble to advice our various profligate southern and Niger Delta state governments about the benefit of accountability and good governance when they were awash with funds that could be applied to such ends. Why now? Which oil revenue was the delegation referring to? Everybody knows that the Federal Government and the vassal states have long run out of money. If, as I suspect, the trip of the Americans is one in a series of fence mending operations, I doubt that many Nigerians in the south can be taken in by it.

    A situation whereby the US completely subverts our own long term strategic interests that require democratic, inclusive governance, devoid of aspects of repression and genocide, because of it’s own global imperatives, is unacceptable. Nigerians should make it clear to both the US and President Buhari that divide and rule will not augur well for our tottering national edifice.

  • amador kester

    You mean the fading oil wealth? Better late than never

  • humble zayon

    A RULER WHO RESORTS TO BLAMING HIS/HER PREDECESSOR FOR HIS OWN LACK OF PERFORMANCE IS DOOMED TO FAIL FOR GOOD. BUAHRI DECEIVED GULLIBLE NIGERIANS UTOPIAN PROMISES; INCLUDING MAKING A DOLLAR TO EXCHANGE FOR A NAIRA AND PETROL PUMP PRICE AT N45. ON RIDING TO THE SEAT OF POWER BY DECEIT, HE CAME WITH ANOTHER PROMISE THAT THE “ONLY SOLUTION” TO UTOPIAN ECONOMIC BOOM WOULD REST ON “OIL SUBSIDY REMOVAL”, WHICH HE ONCE CLAIMED DID NOT EXIST. TODAY NIGERIANS PAY MORE FOR PETROLEUM PRODUCTS THAN ANY OTHER TIME IN HISTORY AND EVEN MORE THAN THOSE WHO SOURCE OIL FROM NIGERIA.

    MAY BE NIGERIANS WILL HAVE TO GIVE BUHARI SIXTEEN YEARS, SINCE ACCORDING TO HIM AND HIS APOLOGISTS, HE INHERITED PROBLEMS CREATED IN 16 YEARS!

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