The Problem With Niger Delta
'. . . We confront these deadly enemies with the only weapon which they lack: TRUTH . . . we would have to be ready to suffer arrest, detention, imprisonment and death, as the only alternative to the struggle is extinction . . .'
Activist/writer, Ken Saro-Wiwa from his detention cell in a Nigerian prison, one year before a military court hanged him.
The problem of the NIGER DELTA is basically the leadership .we are aware of the huge federal allocation receive by the NIGER DELTA States monthly with nothing concrete on ground to show for it.Look, even if the money is doubled,these alleged mindless looters will continue to loot a people's collective wealth.There are Nigerian States, like KWARA STATE, which does not receive half of what they receive,yet the government there is creating and generating an alternative source of revenue and employment for the people through agriculture.There is relative peace and people go about their business peacefully.But what we have in NIGER DELTA is Governors reportedly looking the other way while the activities of oil companies devastates and desecrates the land.e.g last year May oil spill in EKET, which the AKWA IBOM state government reportedly did not negotiate adequate compensation for the affected indigenes.in http://indigenes.in/ fact, some indigenes were allegedly duped by fraudsters selling fictitious compensation forms. This exposed AKPABIO'S administration alleged ineptitude in crisis management.
In AKWA IBOM,the latest slogan is 'uncommon transformation' ,which have not created enough employment opportunities for the many jobless youths.The booming industry is kidnapping.Despite the fact that Anti-kidnapping law have been enacted ,no kidnapper has reportedly been jailed.Today, AKPABIO is perhaps the most decorated governor in Nigeria,having collected awards from certain individuals and corporate bodies for "uncommon transformation" ,despite the fact the majority of AKWA IBOMITES live in abject poverty.It appears the yardstick for such awards are roads that are allegedly built with over one billion naira per kilometer and flyovers ,some of which are not relevant in their locations.e.g the ikot ekpe junction flyover along ABAK road, UYO.
Embracing public private participation initiatives is really cumbersome,as there appears to be a preference for awarding contracts only.A case study is the AMAKPE REFINERY saga .Never before has this writer seen a situation where investors are begging to build a refinery,and government is allegedly not creating the enabling environment for reasons that can best be described as myopic.A responsive government would gladly jump at the opportunity ,but the reverse unfortunately seems to be the case here.
The electoral process that brings in these so called leaders ,is reportedly flawed ,meritocracy is sacrificed for mediocrity,a cabal hijacks the States using the tool of 'carrot and stick'. The politicians allegedly arm the youths in order to hijack the electoral process and abandon them with the arms immediately election is 'won'.The youths in order to sustain their lifestyle embrace kidnapping,militancy and in some cases,alright armed robbery.
These so called leaders allegedly ensure that the standard of education fall,even when they are offering 'FREE AND COMPULSORY EDUCATION' ,they don't provide the enabling environment for learning ,as teachers' salaries are paid irregularly .Some of them allegedly boast that they are providing free and compulsory education,yet most members of the administration don't send their children to State schools because of the dilapidating state of some of the schools and therefore prefer to send their kids to school 'abroad' .Leaders should lead by example.
The health care system that is brandish by the politicians' apologists is totally in shambles ,as hospitals can best be described as mere consulting clinics.Whenever the politicians' wives or numerous girlfriends want to give birth,they reportedly send them abroad because they have easy access traveling abroad, to the best hospitals in the world with tax payers money, and of course they are aware people are dying everyday in their 'state of the art' hospitals. Little MFONISO EDET died recently in AKWA IBOM because the hospitals are ill equipped despite the propaganda of building STATE -OF -THE ART -HOSPITALS.
Providing basic amenities like good roads ,adequate power supply,pipe borne water ,and basic education is nothing but an illusion that is pursued , and never attained,contracts are allegedly inflated and given to cronies without due process, the "leaders" are more concerned with living in opulence at the detriment of the downtrodden,many of our women,especially AKWA IBOMITES, now embrace jobs like prostitution,corporate househelps in major cities as a way of life in order to survive economic hardship.
Most of the governors hardly stays in the respective states and prefer to run E-GOVERNMENT through laptops and blackberry phones, and have lost touch with the realities of the sufferings of the downtrodden,and often times their political ambitions create a sense of insecurity in the states and this scarces away the needed investors .
They deplore ethnicity as a tool to segregate the people and impoverish them.Different ethnic groups ,like the IBIBIO AND ANNANG who have lived together in peace for many years and generations ,have been separated by the political schemings of desperate politicians .It got to a point where some IBIBIOS recently proposed militia protection for women,children and villages ,as it appears there is an alleged orchestrated extinction of IBIBIOS,through kidnapping and mindless killings.Those IBIBIOS who dare hobnob with their ANNANG brothers are reported branded 'UNDESIRABLE'.This writer perfectly comprehend the agitations of these IBIBIOS ,but believe there is a lot to be derived from being UNITED with our ANNANG brothers and the current hostilities are deft political moves of 'UNELECTABLE' politicians ,whose stock in trade is mendacity and deception.But like the oppressors they are , their kingdom will soon come crashing.
These 'leaders' ensures that their opinions are not at variance with that of the federal government,for political expediency,and refuse to implement projects that can change the lives of the populace.A case study is the recent claim by AKWA IBOM STATE government of generating electricity but cannot distribute same because of the constitutional contraints . My question remains, are they 'ELECTED' to serve and bring positive change to the people of their respective states or are selected they to serve the federal government.
These leaders allow militarization of their respective states which unfortunately have not curbed the issues kidnapping .militancy, political assasination,armed robbery,and all kinds of social vices.
I think the electoral process needs to be free and fair so as to produce credible leaders.
EMMANUEL IMOH EKEREUWEM,
'THE ETI AKWA-UTANG 1 OF AKWA IBOM'