I am pretty impressed by the recent actions of Acting President Yemi Osibanjo with respect to his current tour of duty posts in the Niger Delta.
It has been an intelligent move and I am sure that it will win the government great leverage.
There is nothing as powerful and mind winning as offering a hand of peace especially when you match them with words of great wisdom.
Professor Osibanjo spoke superbly well in Bayelsa State, where he was received by an overwhelming crowd of bipartisan Bayelsa indigenes.
He identified with the challenges of the people.
He spoke like somehow who knew what their biggest challenges were but most of all, he spoke like someone who would do his best to work with the people for their greater good.
Much before, Professor Osinbajo was in Delta State where he was hosted by a number of communities including Gbaramatu community, hometown of Government Ekpemukpolo (aka Tompolo), a former leading member of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND).
For many of us who came to the table with strong anti-Buhari and anti-APC sentiments, it was a welcome departure of the past 18 months or more for we had long began to see ourselves as privileged members of the Buhari 95%.
Dealing with the challenges of the Niger Delta comes with its own set of problems.
Much of the political leaders of the APC in most of the Niger Delta states did not move to APC because they believed in any progressive ideological agenda.
They moved because they had an axe to grind with either PDP or Jonathan or both. That alone is not good enough.
We hope to see increased and improved collaboration with the Federal Government in the coming months.
We hope to see firm and far more concrete declaration of partnerships between the Federal Government and the various state governments that will be devoid of the political rancor that has plagued the many political players on both sides of the divide.
In this moment of glad awakening, we encourage the Federal Government to continue to seek pathways for increased engagement of the Niger Delta and her people. Who knows what could happen tomorrow.
George Kerley, Port Harcourt.