Joel-Onowakpo Advocates For Stakeholders’ Collaboration For Interest of South South

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Senator representing Delta South Senatorial District, Senator Joel-Onowakpo Thomas, has said there is an urgent need for monarchs, government appointees and elected representatives to collaborate for development and growth of the South-South region.

Senator Joel-Onowakpo stated this on Tuesday at the opening ceremony of the 13th Extraordinary General Assembly of the South-South Monarchs Forum at the Unity Hall, Government House Asaba, Delta State, where he also represented the Senate President, Senator Godswill Ufot Akpabio.

Senator Joel Onowakpo

Senator Onowakpo, speaking for himself as a South South Senator, after the presentation of Senator Godswill Akpabio’s remarks as the Special Guest of Honour at the event, noted that until critical stakeholders form a united front and deliberately cooperate for advancement of South-South, the development in the region will not be commensurate with the huge contributions being made to the national treasury.

He urged government appointees in the region who are occupying vital offices to always liaise with their elected counterparts as well as the monarchs, whom he described as the custodians of rich traditional heritage, to positively change the fortune of the region.

“There is a wide gap between the revenue we contribute to the national treasury and the development we have as a region. This is quite disturbing, however, if we must change this ugly narrative, all critical stakeholders in the region especially our revered monarchs, government appointees and elected representatives must deliberately work together,” the Senator said.

While urging the monarchs to appoint a liaison officer who can work closely with both elected and appointed officers, he said the traditional rulers are blessed with divine wisdom and have answers to many of the challenges bedeviling the society.

He commended the Monarchs for forming the South-South Monarchs Forum to forge a united front to project the region, promote peace, security and development.

The theme of the event was “Strengthening Stakeholder Collaboration for Development in the South-South Region: The Role of the Traditional Institution.”

He assured the South South Monarchs that they will continue to strive towards ensuring that what is due the region gets to her, adding that the present administration of President Ahmed Tinubu was working towards uplifting the fortune of the people.

Earlier, the Delta State Governor, His Excellency, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori, who declared the event open during his welcome address lamented the poor development across the South-South region despite her natural riches.

He called on all leaders of the region to be more serious and proactive in advancing the course of the South-South.