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There was excitement and jubilation on Tuesday evening, as ex-President, Goodluck Jonathan, visited the troubled Gbaramatu Kingdom, in the Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State, known to be the hotbed of militants’ activities.
Recall, that since the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari, on May 29, 2015, he has been allegedly avoiding visiting the Niger Delta creeks.
However, the former President, whose visit came as unexpected to many residents in the creek, was in Gbaramatu Kingdom, for the official presentation of the staff of office to the Pere of Gbaramatu, His Royal Majesty, Oboro Gbaraun II.
Jonathan, appealed to the aggrieved Niger Delta youths to embrace peace, saying it was the only means to usher in the needed development in the region.
He also assured Nigerians, that the problems facing the country, especially the dwindling economy, would soon be a thing of the past.
Sources revealed that former Militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo (popularly known as Tompolo, and his boys will soon drop their arms, and embrace peace, following Jonathan’s intervention.
Jonathan’s message came against the backdrop of repeated calls by Buhari to the Militants, to drop their guns and “key in” into the current administration developmental plan.
Also last month, barely a few hours after the dialogue between Buhari and critical stakeholders of the Niger Delta to resolve the crisis in the region, unrepentant Militants went on a bombing spree.
While speaking, Jonathan said: “At this period, there are challenges in the country; there are challenges in the Niger Delta; there are challenges in the kingdom, but all these are temporary. Surely, the society will get over it. I believe Nigeria is still a great country, and will continue to move on. The kingdom will succeed, the Niger Delta will succeed, and Nigeria will succeed.


“The Governor has given his charge, I don’t want to add more, but I always say there cannot be development without peace, and the duty of every traditional ruler, is to ensure that there is peace in his kingdom, and you should be able to mobilise your sons and daughters, for the social and economic development of the people, and especially for Gbaramatu Kingdom, where a lot of oil industry activities are going on, where you have people from all over the world, coming to do one thing or the other,” Jonathan said.‎
Speaking in the same vein, the State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, appealed for peace, lamenting that the continued destruction of pipelines had affected revenue generation in the country.
The Governor, while presenting the staff of office to the 26th Gbaramatu Monarch, said, “I’m happy the Ijaw could put themselves together for an occasion like this. I look forward to a greater community of love, peace, and development.
 “It’s time to heal the wounds for the State to move forward. You have reasons to feel bad, but it’s also possible to carry out agitations through dialogue and non-violent manner. It’s time to embrace peace; forgive those who need to be forgiven.
‎“We need to partner others to move forward. I’ve come to plead with you to embrace peace. It’s time to think back, and reconcile,” Gov. Okowa said.

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