President Bola Tinubu has a strong political will to support the sustainable development, stability and peace of the Niger Delta, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) Administrator Dr. Dennis Otuaro said yesterday.

He, however, reminded communities and stakeholders from the Niger Delta of the importance of playing their role in ensuring progress in the region.

Otuaro spoke at the Technical Session of the Niger Delta Stakeholders’ Summit 2024 tagged: “Renewed Hope for Sustainable Development of the Niger Delta.” It was organised by the NDDC in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

The PAP boss, whose remarks were contained in a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Igoniko Oduma, expressed confidence in Tinubu’s avowed commitment to the accelerated progress of the region.

Otuaro emphasised that it was for the purpose that the PAP penultimate week held a four-day stakeholders’ engagement in Warri, Delta State, to drive home the president’s genuine desire for sustainable peace and growth of the region.

Underscoring the important place on stakeholders in the development of communities, advocated that project designs and contract models should take into consideration the peculiarities of riverine and upland communities.

He said: “Stakeholders engagement by the NDDC has been long expected over the years. That is why we at the PAP, two weeks ago, organised our stakeholders’ meetings (in Warri, Delta State) where we assured everybody about the renewed hope agenda of Mr. President.

“Mr. President has the political will to support the development of the Niger Delta. We know that he will not disappoint us but, we, as community people and stakeholders, have a role to play because this peace we are talking is for us, comes first, before oil. When there is no peace in our villages, many of us will not be able to go to our villages.

“Therefore, stakeholders’ engagement is a critical part in the design of community projects. The management of the NDDC knows the critical role of peace and stability for the development of the Niger Delta.

“Peace, security and stability have to do with the stakeholders, including the traditional rulers, youths, women and others, many of whom were alienated from the activities of the NDDC. And people don’t really know what is happening.”

The PAP boss urged all stakeholders to take advantage of the NDDC summit to encourage the interventionist agency to deliver on its core objectives.

He added: “Today, all of us as stakeholders should grab the opportunity of this dialogue with both hands and encourage the management of the NDDC to continue with this stakeholders’ engagement.

“When we encourage them, they will seek our opinions even on projects in our areas, especially on the immediate needs of communities.

“I know that the terrains of NDDC states are different, but my appeal is that for projects that are to be sited in the riverine areas, the NDDC should take a critical look at the designs because the designs are the contracting models. Compare the way you do contacts in those riverine communities and those in the upland areas.”