TVC E. The eminent monarch, Olu of warri, Ogiame Ikenwoli, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to approve the commencement of work on the $16 billion Gas Export Processing Zone (EPZ) Project in Delta State to create jobs for the teeming youths.

The traditional ruler made the appeal during his first coronation anniversary held at Ode Itseki­ri, the ancestral home of Itsekiri kingdom in Warri South Local Government Area of the state.

The ground-breaking ceremony of the project was performed by the immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan on March 26, 2015.

More than a year after its launch, the project which is a private initiative is expected to create jobs for thousands of youths but has been abandoned since President Buhari assumed office on May 31, 2016.

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The monarch also appealed to President Buhari to reopen the Warri and Koko Ports for economic activities to thrive in the region.

Ogiame Ikenwoli lamented that the people of the Niger Delta region had continued to suffer in the midst of plenty and called on militants in the region to sheathe their sword and embrace peace.

He also appealed to Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), to have a rethink and return to Delta State, regretting that its exit had caused untold hardships on the people.

Addressing the Itsekiri within and outside the kingdom who throng in their numbers to pay him homage on Monday, the Olu of Warri said his one year in office had been interesting and challenging.

He said ‘’The last one year has been both interesting and intriguing. Notwithstanding, the most interesting challenge we have had to face have been internal to us as Itsekiri.

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‘’But the vision I out­lined one year ago is still intact and on course. This vision represents positive change and a clear departure from the vagaries and manipulation by a few individuals to a broader-based Itsekiri project and programme anchored on participatory partnership with every Itsekiri man and woman.”

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