The king of Gbaramatu kingdom in Delta State, Chief Godspower Gbenekama, has appealed to the Federal Government to remove all restraints blocking the commencement of academic activities in the Nigeria Maritime University, Okerenkoko.
Gbenekama made this plea when the Vice President, Prof Yomi Osinbajo paid him a courtesy visit in Oporoza, capital of Gbaramatu kingdom, in Delta State, recently.
He also noted that a visit to Kurutie, the take-off site of the Nigerian Maritime University would reveal a campus that can compete in infrastructure with other institutions in the world.
The traditional ruler, who frowned at the persistent occupation of Gbaramatu by security forces, noted that under the guise of search of oil facility vandals, oil thieves and other criminals, the Nigeria military has become an army of occupation, committing serial invasions of Gbaramatu Kingdom.
He said the consequences have been the loss of several lives and property and huge humanitarian crisis, noting that Gbaramatu Kingdom is not at war with the Federal Government to warrant military occupation, incessant harassment and detention of its citizens.
Chief Gbenekama expressed hope that the visit will pave way for demilitarisation of the area for genuine and result-oriented dialogue stressing that the entire Niger Delta region has embraced dialogue as symbolised by mandates given to Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) who could pan out ways where the people would be involved in protecting the oil resources that also benefits them.
He restated that instead of proliferation of military forces, the government should ‘overrun’ Gbaramatu with schools to encourage holistic development of the oil-rich region.