By Timi Black
Foremost rights groups, the Coalition Against Bad Governance, South West Youth for Change, South East Youth Leaders Forum, Coalition of North East Youths Affairs, Northern Elite Assembly, Middle Belt Youths Leaders against Bad Governance in a press release has lambasted the Vice president Yemi Osinbajo for failing to redeem promises he had earlier made to a Niger Delta author, Prince Mesach Bebenimibo.
The coalition in a press statement said it is appalling that a serving Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria cannot fulfill his empowerment promise to a Nigerian youth within one, two, three, four and five years, adding that such actions portrayed leadership deficiency and failure in him.
The release was signed by Com. Raphael Ikika and Akren Selekeowei, Coordinator and Secretary Coalition Against Bad Governance, Saheed Waheed, Coordinator South West Youths for Change, Chuks Odimegwu Coordinator South East Youth Leaders Forum, Muhammed Sani Coordinator Northern Elite Assembly, Bala Adamu Coordinator Coalition of North East Youths Affairs, Inalegwu Isaac, Coordinator Middle Belt Youth Leaders against Bad Governance.
Angry coalition said the deliberate act of Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria to ignore the clarion call to fulfill his empowerment promise made to an Ijaw born author Prince Meshach Bebenimibo from Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State was sad, condemnable, provocative and unacceptable, noting that such is a show of shame to the image of Nigeria.
The statement reads, “We, the various groups that cut across all the six Geopolitical zones in Nigeria urge Prof. Yemi Osinbajo to as a matter of urgency, fulfill his empowerment promises to Prince Meshach Bebenimibo.
The activists said the Vice President make the pledge to empower the Ijaw born author, when His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, came to the Niger Delta region for Peace Resolution and Fact finding Mission, in 2016, following economy crippling bombardment of oil facilities by Niger Delta Avengers militants.
The statement reads partly, “His Excellency, visited Gbaramatu kingdom and came to Kurutie Community, the temporary site of the Nigeria Maritime University 16th January, 2017. On that fateful day, Prince Meshach Bebenimibo told the Osinbajo that he writes motivational books and immediately the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria called him and he gave two of his books to His Excellency _titled Self Discovery In Nation Building_ and _Battles of Life._
However, Prince Meshach Bebenimibo pleaded with His Excellency to empower him so he could use his talent to add value to lives and destinies of others all over the world in the presence of his principal hosts, His Excellency Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa and Barr. Kingsley Otuaro with the mammoth crowd that graced the historic visit of the Vice President of Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The Vice President in his humility promised to empower him as to enable him contribute his quota to nation building.
The statement noted that Prince Meshach Bebenimibo made several followed up by, sending series of letters to the Office of the Vice President at Aso Rock, Abuja.
“Finally, on the 3rd April, 2018, the Vice President sent an official letter with reference number: SH/OVP/DCOS/Misc./0276 through the Deputy Chief of Staff to the President, Office of the Vice President, Ade Ipaye.
In the 3 paragraph letter, the paragraph 2B, “it states that he, the (Vice President) advised that you send him a brief through Edobor Iyamu, SSA (Economics) or 08033378362, email:email@example.com, so that any urgent matter can be immediately attended to. While in Paragraph 3, “Please, accept the assurances of His Excellency, the Vice President best wishes.
The report narrated that as instructed, Prince Meshach Bebenimibo sent the brief to Edobor Iyamu and Ade Ipaye. Several calls were made to Edobor Iyamu, and Prince Meshach Bebenimibo even travelled to Abuja to meet with Edobor Iyamu and submitted company profile to get a contract as an Empowerment package after spending a lot of money, adding the contract was not given to him.
Acccording to the groups, “he told us, he has spend beyond N2M on travel and accommodation in Abuja on several occasions. He did Tax Clearance and other necessary documents to get the contract, which he never got from Edobor Iyamu.
“The coalition said, “He also reach out to Laolu Akande SSA on Media and Publicity to the Vice President. Yet they do nothing, Edobor Iyamu and Laolu Akande blocked Prince Meshach Bebenimibo numbers. So he resorted to the Media for Prof. Yemi Osinbajo to know his plight and that he hasn’t been empowered.
21 December, 2018, Prince Meshach Bebenimibo met with Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, when the VP came to Warri for the disbursement of TraderMoni Scheme to Main Market Women. He showed His Excellency, the official letter he sent to him and told him, Your Excellency sir, I have not been empowered as you promised. Please fulfill your empowerment promise to me. Immediately, the VP, called Sen. Babafemi Ojudu, Special Adviser to the President, Office of the Vice President to give him his number and make sure Prince Meshach Bebenimibo is empowered. He (Meshach) called Sen. Babafemi Ojudu, he picked for sometimes and refused to pick till date.
“We, want His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria to fulfill his empowerment promise to this industrious and creative Nigerian youth. We also urge well meaning Nigerians, Oil Multinational Companies and Niger Delta Governors to assist Prince Meshach Bebenimibo to use his talent to restructure and reorient the mindset of people especially the Youths to discover themselves and utilize their discovery for nation building.
‘We, will never vote any candidate contesting for President who doesn’t love to empower the youths, the various groups asserted,” the groups added.