Managing Controversies: Buhari Endorses Maritime University

Managing Controversies: Buhari Endorses Maritime University
NMU Structure at Okerenkoko

“The secret of crisis management is not good vs. bad, it’s preventing the bad from getting worse.”-Andy Gilman.

President Mohammadu Buhari may have just prevented the escalation of crisis in the Southern region of Nigeria with his decision to approve the take-off of the Nigerian Maritime University (NMU) Okerenkoko, in Delta State.

The development of the Nigerian Maritime University (NMU), Okerenkoko had been halted since the Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi opined that NMU was a waste of resources as money required to complete the university had been used to only acquire the land, but the Senate injected a lease of life to the project when the NMU crossed the second reading at the legislative chamber recently and it has also gotten the President’s endorsement.

The Minister’s call for scrapping of the project was followed by protests in Delta state and it was fiercely countered by Dr. E.K Clark who wrote an open letter to President Buhari and the President has proved that he doesn’t succumb to the one-size-fits-all solution to the challenges facing our Niger-Delta and brought respite to host community after considering the issues raised by the Transport Minister.

Apart from the huge amount already utilized in acquiring the land, the Minister had also said that the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron, needed the funds to be developed into a maritime university before NMU should be constructed.

However, last week, the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Brig. Gen. Paul Boroh, says President Muhammadu Buhari has approved take off of the controversial NMU which means the President did not align his government with the hasty and unauthorized scrapping of the university by Rotimi Amaechi.

Boroh urged elders and leaders of the Niger Delta to embrace peace moves initiated by the President, saying that the visit of the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo, to the Niger Delta offered serious opportunities for peace and development in the oil rich region.

Boroh also admonished the people of the area to take advantage of the government’s acceptance of the 16-point demand by the Pan Niger Delta Elders Forum to the President in November 2016, as a working document for the resolution of the crisis in the region.

Boroh, who is also the Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, also urged the people of the area to utilize the decision of the Federal Government to recognize the environmental challenges of the region and to treat the area as a special economic zone.

The National Assembly is yet to pass the Nigeria Maritime University (NMU) Bill and the scheduled date for the take off of the university is yet to be disclosed but the Niger-Deltans can have a better understanding of the government’s efforts the pursuit of the desired peace and development in the area.

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