Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi has threatened to scrap the Maritime University located in Okerenkoko, Delta State citing security challenges.
The move, however, has elicited sharp reactions from the Ijaw leaders in and around the community who think that Amaechi is biting more than he can chew.
One such leader is HRM Couple M. Oromoni, the Amakosu Mobene III.
Replying Amaechi, HRM Oromoni said, “You (Amaechi) cannot scrap the university in Okerenkoko. Why is the government scrapping it? There is no reason for it to scrap the school.
“Assuming President Muhammadu Buhari sets up a university in the North and his tenure elapsed, does that warrant scrapping the institution.
Commenting on Amaechi’s allegation that no one will go there to school citing insecurity challenges, Oromoni retorted:
"Amaechi, who is saying no one will go there to school, is Port-Harcourt safer than Delta state.
“Port Harcourt is more porous, security wise, than Delta. Amaechi is trying to create more problems in this country. Are there no security problems in where the minister comes from?
“With all the security problems in Port Harcourt, has it stopped people from schooling there?
"We are not asking Amaechi to send his children to the University; there are parents, who are very much interested in sending their children there to school.
"Scrapping the school will not help the current under development of the Niger Delta region, The Maritime University at Okerenkoko is synonymous with peace and development of the region.
“Our children will go there to school. We say the region is not developed and someone brought school to develop the area, they are saying it is scrapped; it is unacceptable to our people. "
Another aggrieved Niger Deltan, Chief Gbenekame on his part, asked, "Are we Nigerians? The Niger Delta people are they Nigerians? I am surprised. Unfortunately, the minister that sold the idea is a Niger Deltan. "
National Coordinator of the Host Communities Producing Oil and Gas, Prince Okareme, in chat with Vanguard, urged Amaechi, to rescind the decision.
He said, "If the problem is the terrain as the minister claimed, then he can relocate it to another Ijaw area in Delta state or preferably, the Delta School of Marine Technology, Bomadi should be taken over by the Federal Government.
"They say a man's enemies are those from his own household. It is very unfortunate that this decision is not just from the minister.
“It is a decision taken by Federal Government. They should look at this decision and reverse it. "