Appraisal Of Niger Delta Struggle And The Way Forward~~ Double Comrade Timi Coleman FHNR.
……Do you think Niger Delta struggle has paid off?
…….Take a deep breathe, close your eyes and reflect, you will see the realities of the scrimmage.
When I hear some guys flaunt “I’m son of the struggle”, “we are the front runners of the struggle “, “we are the stakeholders of Niger Delta struggle”, “we are the foot soldiers, the gun runners” among others, I shook my head and walk away.
If I may ask, where are the developments in Niger Delta Region most especially the ijaw communities? Where are the well equipped schools, skill centers, good drinking water, electricity, etc. Suffice to say that there is no tangible developmental strides feasible in the region.
In case we have forgotten, the Niger Delta agitation was anchored on the issues of marginalization, environmental despoliation, development and infrastructural decay, and poverty amidst plenty. But what have we achieved in the struggle? If not that we have achieved making few personalities billionaires in the region, who are now fighting back, to suppress the cry of the impoverished plenty unjustly. Is that what we bargained for the struggle encompassing over 45 million people?
Stop ranting, put your head up and cogitate. Oil (light) is flowing under our houses, threatening our peaceful existence yet the darkest it has become. No gas light…. Was darkness part of the bargain?
To be candid, the Niger Delta struggle has led to the creation of some interventionist agencies. Viz: Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, 13% derivation, Niger Delta Basin Development Authority, Presidential Amnesty Programme PAP. The question is, are the people feeling the impact of those agencies? NO! Rather than hasten development in the region, interventionist efforts in the Niger Delta have become a veritable means of corrupt enrichment of individuals, making it evident that the well intentioned efforts of the struggle have been rendered counterproductive.
It is regrettable to note that, the interventionist commissions most times originate and award contracts without due diligence to ascertain the capacity and competence of the contractors; nor were there adequate budgetary provisions to ensure that the projects were executed to completion. When contracts are awarded without the requisite supervision, it is clearly evident that they were not designed to produce any desired result, but merely to reward political associates, hirelings, vocal local critics or even warlords that needed to be silenced. Uncompleted projects everywhere… Is that part of our bargain? Where is now the succour for our people?
The Niger Delta Basin Development Authority is a service oriented organization that is positioned to meet the water requirements of stakeholders in the most satisfactory and coefficient manner, while ensuring good quality and sanitation and paying adequate attention to the preservation of the ecosystem, using proven technology and a well motivated workforce. But where are the good drinking water today? There is no gainsaying that 13% derivation is a product 87% deprivation? Because the derivation so far has no positive impact in our people.
Nothing is just working! The points of agitation has not change after these many years. Can we continue like this? There is a saying thus; if you want to develop the people develop/enable the environment. In developed countries or cities like Abuja, only the environment can make you live a fulfilled life. All of these not feasible in the Niger Delta region. The Presidential Amnesty Programme is another scam used to enrich few people in the Niger Delta. They send ex agitators to schools home and abroad, came back to meet the same polluted, underdeveloped environment. Most of which are now Facebook lawyers, activists, just to keep body, soul together. Is this our bargain? Even the #65,000 monthly stipend Stipend has further enslaved our youths… Tell me who is doing well with the 65k, as commensurate to what feeds this nation? They are always broke and borrow to survive with their families because 65k can’t stand the high prices of commodities in the market.
The most unfortunate was our supposed Messiah Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan who go to Aso Rock as president of this country, surround himself with his likes and returned home with one of the most prestigious awards “Peace Ambassador of Nigeria” indeed. An award that cannot construct road to his country home, and other communities. He Voluntarily willed our opportunity away, pursuing for second term that was a mirage.
The few schools sited in the Niger Delta region are under equipped. Who us this thing?
Don’t misconstrue me of inciting the public. It’s my own way expressing myself. I only want to let my people know that the Niger struggle hasn’t paid off as demanded. They promised to turn our communities to Dubai, but not kept.
If care is not taking, time is coming when Niger Delta will wage war against Niger Delta! The impoverished plenty against the enriched few! Where leaders will be quizzed to answer questions, how effective they have used the interventionist agencies to impact lives of people in the Niger Delta region.
It is my passionate appeal that those Manning the interventionist agencies should properly channel our resources towards developing the region. If not the sustainable peace might not stand the test of time.
©Double Comrade Timi Coleman FHNR.