THE Niger Delta Nationalities Forum has appealed to Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State and Minister for Niger-Delta, Elder Godsday Orubebe to close ranks in the interest of the region.
In a chat with Vanguard, chairman of the group, Mr Manijar Seigha, urged both leaders not to over heat the Niger Delta noting that "my take on it is that there is a misconception somewhere because both of them are Niger Delta leaders."
According to him, "I think the call by Amaechi that they want to take over the roads because Orubebe was not performing, in my own thinking was wrong. For the governor to say that because the minister was not repairing roads or that he was not performing was wrong on the side of the governor."
"What I know about that road is that the road can only be completed based on budgetary allocations.
Orubebe as a minister, cannot on his own, give huge sums to contractor for the roads to be completed. For instance, when Jakande was governor of Lagos state, many people commended him for his achievement and that was what made late Sani Abacha to appoint him Minister for Housing.
But because money was not given to his ministry, Nigerians criticised him and tagged him a failure. What I am trying to say is that so many people say that Orubebe has not performed, but Orubebe will not use his money to repair the road.
It is money allocated that will be used to repair the roads, but Orubebe needs to brief Nigerians especially people of the Niger Delta about projects in the region," he stated.
Speaking further, Seigha who averred that Amaechi's statement was an indictment on Orubebe said "these things have a way of soiling relationship whether they are right or wrong.
But what Amaechi said that governors of the South South region should take over roads was wrong. He erred in doing that because at that level, a governor should know that such roads are federal roads."
While urging the duo to stop the media war, he said "it is only the president that can say whether or not Orubebe has performed because he knows the allocation for his ministry.
But my plea is for both of them to stop the media war and not over heat the Niger Delta."