President Goodluck Jonathan has called on the people of ethnic Ijaw, Itsrkiri and other tribes in the country feuding over the location of the Gas Revolution Industrial Park in Ogidigben to maintain the peace.
The President in a briefing on his behalf by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, yesterday denied the insinuation of partisanship against any particular tribe leading to his postponement of the groundbreaking ceremony of the project last Friday.
Abati said, “President Jonathan therefore urges all parties to the communal dispute over the location and ownership of the site of the Gas Industrial Revolution Park to cooperate fully with ongoing efforts by the Federal Government and the Delta State government to peacefully resolve all outstanding issues so that the project can proceed apace for the benefit of local communities, all Nigerians and investors.
“For the avoidance of any doubt whatsoever, the postponement of the ground-breaking ceremony for the project earlier scheduled for last Friday was not in furtherance of any anti-Itsekiri agenda.
“Rather, it was borne out of the clear need to give all concerned parties more time to achieve the communal peace, understanding and harmony that will greatly facilitate the project’s speedy actualization for the benefit of Itsekiris, Ijaws, Urhobos, Ibos, Isokos and all other Nigerians.
In the greater interest of the nation, President Jonathan expects the respected elders and leaders of the concerned communities to heed the pleas of Federal and state government mediators and expeditiously resolve their differences for the good of all and the progress of the country.”
While stressing that the project when completed would help create over 3 million jobs and be of benefits to the generality of Nigerians, Jonathan clarified that he was not against the Itsekiri ethnic group as being variously speculated.