|07ABUJA2544||2007-12-10 15:45:00||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy Abuja|
VZCZCXRO7959 OO RUEHPA DE RUEHUJA #2544 3441545 ZNY CCCCC ZZH O 101545Z DEC 07 FM AMEMBASSY ABUJA TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1630 INFO RUEHOS/AMCONSUL LAGOS PRIORITY 8404 RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 0348 RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO 0039 RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC RUEKJCS/DIA WASHINGTON DC RHCKJAC/JAC MOLESWORTH JCDX RAF MOLESWORTH UK RUEPGDA/USEUCOM JIC VAIHINGEN GE
C O N F I D E N T I A L ABUJA 002544
1. (C) Summary: The office of Nigerian Vice President
Goodluck Jonathan plans a retreat to discuss the Niger Delta
Master Plan December 13-14 in Geneva, Switzerland.
Ministers, international experts on conflict resolution and
others will focus on ways to promote accountability, gauge
performance, and implement the plan. End Summary.
2. (C) At a Public Affairs Section (PAS) reception for U.S.
health journalism trainers on December 4, Ambassador and
Public Affairs Officer (PAO) were told by Nigerian-born AMCIT
Emeka Okoli (protect) that Mr. Nze Akachukwu Nwankpo, Senior
Special Advisor to Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, is
organizing a two day retreat on the Niger Delta Master Plan
which President Yar'Adua has committed to reviewing and
implementing. The retreat will be held in Geneva,
Switzerland December 13-14, and facilitated by Edward DeBono,
the internationally-renowned "father of lateral thinking."
In a conversation with PAO and Poloff on December 7, Okoli
further explained that a select group of approximately 15
Nigerians, including Minister of Defense Yazule Ahmed;
Federal Capital Territory Minister Aliyu Modibbo Umar; the
Chief Executive Officer of the Niger Delta Development
Commission Timi Alaibe, and Oronto Douglas, Director of the
Niger Delta Desk for Vice President Jonathan, will also
attend. Dr. Okoli, who has been invited to attend, is an
expert in conflict management and resolution; as a Fulbright
scholar, he set up the University of Abuja's conflict
resolution program in 2005-2006.
3. (C) According to Okoli, the invited experts will vet the
Niger Delta Master Plan and conduct a stakeholder mapping and
analysis exercise. The group will consider ethnicity and the
role of civil society in an effort to address key issues in
the region. "It is all about accountability and
implementation," Okoli told PAO and Poloff. The experts will
design a structure or template that "they can work with on
the ground to gauge performance." The mechanism will include
ways to monitor deliverables for the region by means of
benchmarks and regular results reporting.
4. (C) COMMENT: Yar'Adua is trying to begin to move the
Delta process along by having VP Jonathan seek to address the
issue, one of Nigeria's most complex and intractable
problems. DeBono is an international heavyweight in creative
and constructive thinking; Douglas, a well-known Ijaw human
rights attorney and environmental activist; and Nwankpo and
Okoli, both ethnic Igbos, are experts in the field of
conflict management. Following Jonathan's many listening
tours to the region, the retreat seems intended to be the
first step toward turning the Niger Delta Master Plan into
solutions to the region's problems. Although they are trying
to keep the retreat low key so as to not raise expectations,
it may prove to be a step in the right direction by Yar'Adua.
We will see what comes out of this and how the GON plans to
transform recommendations from the
retreat into concrete actions. END COMMENT.