The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has declared that the militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers did not fight for the freedom of the region but, saying they only fight for their own selfish interest.
He also said the economic challenges currently facing the country were caused by the activities of the militants at the Niger Delta Region of the country.
The Vice President stated this on Friday at the Second Foundation’s Day Lecture of the Elizade University, Ilara Mokin, Ondo State where he delivered a lecture titled : ‘ The Future: Here Earlier Than We Thought.’
He said, “The Niger Delta Avengers are not freedom fighters, they are not fighting for any freedom, they only fight for their pockets. You can’t be blowing up pipelines and compound the problem of the region and be saying you are fighting for freedom.
“It is not acceptable for anybody under any guise to be vandalising and say they are avenging, that is not acceptable.”
The guest lecturer also attributed the problem facing the power sector in the country and the inability of many state governments to pay salaries of workers to the activities of the militants, which had caused reduction in the country’s revenue from oil.
He maintained that the revenue coming from the oil sector had drastically dwindled due to the blowing up of oil pipelines.
He however said the present administration was making frantic efforts to diversify the economic, adding that efforts were ongoing to develop the private sector.
On the call for restructuring of the country as a solution to the economic challenges facing it, the Vice President said the only solution to the problem was for the federal and state governments to look for alternative ways to develop the country other than relying on oil.
Osinbajo said, “No matter how we choose to deal with Nigerian problem, we will still have most of the problems in the states. Most of the revenues we have today are from the oil and taxes, so we have to depend far more than the resources available to us in the states.
“The Federal Government cannot rely on oil any longer. So it is time for both the Federal Government and state governments to look for ways to develop this country. We need to open our eyes for other opportunities other than relying on oil.”
He appealed to the elite in the country not to use politics, religion or ethnicity to divide Nigeria, saying Nigerian elites should rather show people how to live together in peace.
In his remarks, the Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, called for the restructuring of the country, stressing that the future of the country was threatened by the current economic challenges in the country and only restructuring could solve the problem.
Mimiko who insisted that the country needed to adopt a true federal system of government called on the Federal Government to implement the recommendation of the 2014 national conference, which according to him contained solutions of the country’s problems.
Also speaking at the occasion, the visitor and founder of the Elizade University, Chief Michael Ade Ojo, said the institution was founded with the aim of producing quality graduates and be one of the best universities in the country in the nearest future.