Niger Delta leaders are the curse of Niger Delta- a area blessed by God however cursed and changed into a scotched land by her privileged main lights.
The continued probe of Niger Delta Growth Fee (NDDC) opened with the unimaginable story of its speedy previous Performing Managing Director, Dr. Pleasure Nunieh about how strain was mounted on her to provide out Christmas palliatives to the tune of N10 billion bundle protecting amongst others an emergency consultancy contract to “assemble Toddler Jesus”.
Then the unimaginable story by its Performing Managing Director, Prof Kemebradikumo Pondei of how N81.5 billion was frittered away between January and Could below varied headings- ‘COVID-19 palliatives for NNDC employees’ (N1.three billion); media help for forensic audit (N641m); travels (N85.6m); condolences (N122.9m) and so on. all at a interval of COVID-19 lockdown.
Senator Godswill Akpabio who claims to be on a mission to vary the narrative fingered corruption because the bane of NNDC which in keeping with him as soon as spent N4.2b in someday and but ‘couldn’t even purchase a home they may use as an workplace after 19 years”.
However he has additionally been fingered by Peter Nwabaoshi, chairman of Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs of gathering contracts price N500 million from the NDDC in 2017 alone with out execution, a cost he denied saying the contracts have been by no means awarded not to mention paid for.
He nonetheless didn’t deny lobbying Nwabaoshi for the contracts. Akpabio for now has the final phrases. Nwabaoshi, together with lawmakers from the Niger Delta states in keeping with him cornered over 60% of NNDC contracts.
However the rain began beating the helpless and impoverished individuals of Niger Delta lengthy earlier than the warring Nwabaoshi and Akpabio.
The area’s conventional rulers, army stars, celebrated politicians, thorough intellectuals, journalists, and the enterprise elite have all betrayed the poor individuals of Niger Delta that look as much as them for course.
Ken Saro-Wiwa, who informed us Africans kill their very own “solar” was consumed by Niger Delta conventional rulers he had described as “vultures” for gathering bribes from multinational oil corporations polluting the rivers, the air and the land.
However there are different extra vicious blood-feeding vultures-the successive Niger Delta governors. Diette Spiff was a governor below Gowon at about 25.
His solely legacy was scraping the pinnacle of Journalist Amakiri with a damaged bottle for reporting a strike menace by unpaid River State lecturers, a report he considered a humiliation on his birthday.
The younger governor who couldn’t pay lecturers was lacking throughout Murtala Muhammed 1975 change of presidency and was to be positioned on the excessive seas days later carousing with ladies inside his non-public ship, later seized by Murtala Mohammed together with some 16 ill-acquired properties in Port Harcourt.
Peter Odili, accused of monetary infractions in opposition to his personal individuals by EFCC secured a infamous perpetual court docket injunction, conferring immunity on him even out of workplace.
And however for the British intelligence, we’d by no means have identified how a lot Alamieseigha the self-styled ‘Governor Normal of Ijaw” squandered on properties in France, Britain and German City, Maryland in USA.
It was additionally a British Southwark Crown court docket that “on April 17, 2012 jailed James Ibori for 13 years after he ‘pleaded responsible to 10 counts of cash laundering and stealing $50m from the Delta State treasury’.
Intellectuals and journalists from the Niger Delta have equally failed the Niger Delta poor. The previous after offering mental help for the area’s quest for larger portion of the nationwide cake typically find yourself becoming a member of the thieving politicians in authorities.
The latter management the commanding heights of the print and digital media but it surely took the intervention of CNN after Obama’s stiff penalties for multinational oil corporations liable for oil spillage in South America, to name the world consideration to air pollution and degradation of Niger Delta atmosphere that had gone on for over 50 years.
Niger Delta enterprise elite are unarguably amongst a few of the most completed enterprise males in Nigeria. But whereas the Benin – Warri portion of Benin – Port Harcourt highway contract awarded within the early 80s to certainly one of their members remained unattended to till the 90s, all they did was to fly their non-public jets from Lagos to Warri from the place they linked their varied villages.
Even with the already poisonous Niger Delta rivers, air and land, it was a Niger Delta businessman that imported poisonous waste that Europe didn’t need to bury in Europe due to its impact on human lives and the atmosphere to Koko, a distant village in Niger Delta.
If the north as it’s typically claimed, controls extra oil wells within the Niger Delta than the remainder of the nation, it’s most likely as a result of there have been many Niger Delta petroleum ministers able to promote their birthright for a pot of porridge.
Apolitical Tam David-West as petroleum minister tried to be extra Nigerian than Ijaw forgetting that charity begins at house.
All he bought for his pains from Babangida, was a jail time period for a present of wristwatch. Dan Etete was a ‘true son of the soil’.
He secured for himself a really profitable oil nicely and stored his peace whereas Abacha continued from the place Babangda stopped.
The established order remained below Diezani Alison-Madueke as petroleum minister below a Niger Delta president.
She nonetheless took care of her shut associates and members of the family that, in keeping with EFCC, personal multi-billion-naira prime properties in Britain and Dubai.
Sadly even Pa Edwin Clark who has spent all his life serving the Niger Delta individuals – Mid-West Commissioner of Training (1986-710) Bendel State Commissioner for Finance and Institution (1972 –75), Gowon’s Federal Commissioner (1975) and a Senator (1979-1983), has paid consideration extra to exterior enemies than trying inward to see the actual curse of Niger Delta.
He not too way back in a response to critics of infinite looting by Niger Delta politicians angrily queried: “Who’re they to inform us how one can spend our cash?”
Alternatively, few initiatives to enhance the numerous Niger Delta poor that may neither fish nor farm as a result of polluted rivers and scorched land have come from outsiders.
Whereas Niger Delta politicians have been making an attempt to outdo themselves in sponsoring militants and oil bunkerers specializing in vandalisation of oil pipelines with its damaging results on the atmosphere, it was Obasanjo who in 2000 arrange the Niger Delta Growth Fee (NDDC) with the mandate of ‘growing the Niger Delta and ameliorating the struggling of the poor’.
And it was President Umaru Yar’Adua who, whereas retaining the NNDC, created in September 2008 the Ministry of Niger Delta.
However for Pastor Tunde Bakare and civil society teams that launched into Abuja demonstrations that pressured the Nationwide Meeting to give you ‘the doctrine of necessity’, Jonathan who was fiercely opposed by the Yar’Adua mafia headed by James Ibori would by no means have develop into an performing president. He was to later journey on the again of Obasanjo who after outwitting the north over PDP rotational coverage, carried him on his again across the nation to develop into the primary minority elected president.
Niger Delta nonetheless is a metaphor for Nigeria which Awolowo had likened to a fattened cow held down by some whereas being milked by a couple of highly effective people.
The curse of Nigeria are Nigerian leaders who because of the advantages they derive from our present lack of course, out rightly rejected “the trail to Nigeria’s freedom”.