Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, has advocated collaboration between Niger Delta states to forge a common front towards addressing challenges in the region.
Governor Emmanuel made this known yesterday in a goodwill message at a three-day retreat for cabinet members of the Bayelsa State government in Uyo.
Emmanuel, who identified underdevelopment, unemployment, insecurity, among others, as a common challenge bedevilling development in the Niger Delta region, said if leaders played their roles effectively, the challenges in the region would be surmounted regardless of the support from government at the centre.
“Leadership is not easy, when we talk about leader ship, unfortunately in Nigeria, everybody is looking at the governor, everybody inside this room is a leader and if we all play our roles as leaders we will be better off.
“We in the Niger Delta region are not fortunate in so many ways, I have almost finished six years, not even one kilometre of road has been constructed by the Federal Government in my state, I don’t know if you have there.
“With all the crude oil exploration in my state, I don’t have a depot, so what does that mean, it means we must struggle, we must find a way for our people and we must work for our indigene.
“The time for us to sit back and wait for others to do something for us is gone, we must see what we can do for the entire region, if we can collaborate as a state, then the countries collaborate as Africa, then we have a whole lot to offer each other.”
The governor charged the Bayelsa State cabinet members to make the retreat count, urging them to apply the lessons in their assigned duties and responsibility.