By Emeka Okafor
Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, on Friday, met with former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan in Warri, Delta State.
The meeting was over the crisis rocking the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) where stakeholders and leaders in the region are demanding for a substantive board for the commission.
It was gathered that the two former governors met at Uduaghan’s residence in Warri as part of efforts to broker peace among stakeholders in the region.
Recall that former militant leader, Chief Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo had recently issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to constitute a substantive NDDC board or risk return of hostilities in the region.
Following Tompolo’s ultimatum, Akpabio had since relocated to Delta State to appease the former dreaded militant leader, Tompolo and other leaders over the threat.
Akpabio had on Thursday visited Tompolo’s home town of Oporoza which is also traditional headquarters of Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South-West Local Government of the state to broker peace.
The Minister at Oporoza met with the traditional ruler of Gbaramatu Kingdom and representatives of different ethnic nationalities in the region without Tompolo being sighted at the peace meeting.
Akpabio, a former senator and governor of Akwa Ibom State, pleaded for withdrawal of the ultimatum and time to allow President Muhammadu Buhari to constitute a new board for the interventionist agency.
However, Akpabio and his entourage on Friday evening visited Uduaghan where he also appealed for peace in the region.
Uduaghan, then governor of Delta, played a pivotal role during the heat of the militancy in the region in prevailing on Tompolo and other militant leaders to accept presidential amnesty.
Following Uduaghan’s intervention, Tompolo and other former militants in the region accepted amnesty and halted frequent attacks on oil installations in the region.
The amnesty resulted in the return of peace to the oil-rich Niger Delta region.
It was learnt that Akpabio appealed to Uduaghan to prevail on Tompolo and other aggrieved stakeholders to maintain the existing peace as well as not to attack oil facilities in the region.
Uduaghan confirmed Akpabio’s visit on his verified Facebook page late Friday night.
According to him, “I had the pleasure to receive my brother, former Governor of Akwa-Ibom State and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs -Sen. Godswill Akpabio, at my country home in Warri earlier today.
“We discussed sundry issues bordering on how to foster the enduring peace and ways to chart new developmental frontiers in our dear Niger Delta region.”
See photos from the visit below