Use oil wealth to better lot of Nigerians, U.S. tells FG
• Tompolo loses father
The Deputy Chief of Mission at the United States Embassy in Nigeria, David Young, yesterday, said the nation’s major challenge remains transforming its oil wealth into improvement in the life of the average citizen. A development, he noted, “the United States felt very strongly about.”
Speaking during a courtesy call on Governor Seriake Dickson in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, the envoy said the U.S. believes that all stakeholders must be engaged in a genuine dialogue to find an equitable solution to the Niger Delta impasse.
Young held that the region remains critical to the nation just as his country views Nigeria as important and critical partner.Accompanied by other top embassy officials, including the Consul-General, John Bray and the Chief of Political and Economy section, Tom Hines, he urged Nigerians to work for common goals to end violence and curb criminal activities.
Young also stressed the need for government to establish conditions and mechanisms over time and provide economic services to Niger Delta people and the entire citizenry.
“United States officials visit regularly in our engagement with senor officials and we focus on promoting transparency and fiscal responsibility.“Nigeria is a very, very important and critical partner of the United States and the Niger Delta is a critical region as well, within the country so we are very committed to engaging with and being involved in a very important and ongoing way,” he said.
Governor Dickson said the state knows fully that the issues affecting the region could be resolved amicably through dialogue.While describing Bayelsa as the epicentre, he said working together honestly and sincerely with a clear roadmap was one of the genuine steps to resolving the impasse. Meanwhile, former militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo (aka Tompolo), has lost his father, Thomas.
The senior Ekpemupolo, passed on yesterday around 10:00a.m. at an undisclosed hospital in Delta State according to a very reliable source.The 72-year-old was reportedly injured during the military invasion of Kurutie, his hometown in Gbaramatu community during the search for his son, and had been hospitalised ever since.
Although the immediate cause of his death was not known as at press time, but the source however, said: “He gave up this morning at about 10:00a.m. as he has been battling for life for some months.”