NIGER DELTA REGION: HANGING ON TO HOPE
The indigenes of the Niger Delta region has suffered man made tragedy in the past and has taken some time to sort out the real scope of their responsibility.
This is a great turning point and a revelation that Nigerians now understand that a request for respect in dignity for the indigenes of the region is not a demand for resource control. No matter how big their losses, they have found joy in defending nature.
Indigenes are now taking charge of their concerns within their sphere to rekindle hope for all in the Niger Delta region. It symbolizes their struggles for identity in a country where vagabonds control citizenís destiny. May the Lord almighty, grant the victims of Tuesday (12262006) gas explosion eternity for they have found meaning in suffering.
Born and raised along the Niger Delta Tributary (Bonny), I have had my share of suffering and tragedy. However, I have since learned that it does no good waiting for the government and their co-conspirator (oil companies) to take control in saving the beauty of the Niger Delta region.
What we have in play is a well-connected group digging for natural resources. They are totally profit oriented and fewer socials responsible. Nigeria needs a negotiating change with these polluters. The oil companies in the region must agree to stay open and continue with positive engagement toward a peaceful clean environment.
We all watched in disappointment in August 2006 as the dead bodies of sons and daughters of the Niger Delta indigenes were dumped at a local mortuary.
They were victims of organized slaughter by the Nigeria military operative. It was an agonizing moment for the citizens of the region in particular and humanity in general. At the core of this vicious violence is the government and it co-conspirator (oil firms). The Nigeria government must understand that such a methodical approach has several disadvantages. The indigenes of the region are entitled to their feelings and needs.
It is demonizing when these profit-oriented businesses do not care to help because Nigeria military operative keeps playing the violence card in the region. It is a total disappointment by the run around into violence that detracts from efforts to address the plight of the Niger Delta ecosystem. The indigenes of the region deserve better treatment from Nigeria.
Today, it is evidential that government tactics is flawed with no future hope of stability in the region. The military campaigns have not generated any major advantage to Nigeria. I call upon the government to take responsibility and amend the lapses in judgement on environmental concerns in the region. The multi-national companies in the area are from countries that have zero tolerance on environmental polluters. Ultimately, by closing her doors on environmental issues Nigeria may be shopping for long run disaster.
The anti Niger Delta in government feeding on selfishness is driving Nigerians against the indigenes of the region. Nigerians are being encouraged to stage various kind of violence toward Ijaw indigenes at home and abroad.
This is not Shadrach Banigo campaign is the kind of secret intimidation most Ijaw indigenes are facing today. Prince Shadrach Banigo; the OmoIbani of Bonny Island is an American trained Economist. The oil companies are being singled out because they refused to take responsibility for their irresponsible, anti-environment and anti-social activities in the region.
The indigenes of the region cannot continue to bury their sons and daughters while Nigeria politicians drink (tombo) and dance (Abuja carnival) over their suffering. Frustration levels are high among indigenes and they are determined to fight for their rights. They canít say good bye to their feelings any more.
Nigeria and the oil companies need to do the right thing. The youths of the region are more actively engaged in their fight for freedom and rights nowadays than at any other time in history.
2007 ELECTION & THE EFCC
Time after time, Nigerians cried for help because intimidation and harassment are the order of the day. The election time is fast approaching. Just simple, Nigerians does not want any repeat. Nigerians must not take the EFCC for granted. This election is an opportunity to honor all your fight for accountability. Vote for agenda that will contribute to your community in particular and society well being in general.
Nigerians will not tolerate irrelevant fraud intended declaration of assets. The doctrine of constructive accountability required elected public office holder to declare their assets as it is, irrespective of their position.
These politicians must understand that Nigerians in the Diaspora are more attached to Nigeria unity today than at any other time in history.
If these politicians have nothing to hide, then they do not have to worry about the activities of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). This reminds me of one disgraced Nigerian attorney who found joy going around removing papers that carried his fraudulent stories. However, all you need is access to the Internet and his name to do your Yahoo thing.
The right to indigenous Ijaw (me), or Ibo (me), or Hausa (me), or Yoruba (me) or Fulani (me), etc (me) does not have the power to force me to commit fraud. Therefore, it has to depend on my immoral instinct. Recently, groups of Nigerians diaper traders were rounded up across Texas for fraud in social services. It hurts because victims were denied access to their daily (medical) needs.
Reading the indictment documents posted on the Texas Attorney General web site, almost all Nigerians involved in this act of shame are from one ethnic (geographical) zone.
It supports the augment that tribalism is still a social problem in Nigeria. If they were inclusive types of group, maybe, a get together rally for their defense funds would generate interest among some Nigerians. The bottom line is that social services related fraud is distasteful.
The EFCC must continue the anti corruption war now, and press forward for the unity of Nigeria. It is time we fight together with the EFCC to defend public services as a missionary work. Without enforcement, the criminals who stole our social services money just like the diaper traders from Nigeria will have the last laugh.
Ironically, many public servants in Nigeria are not familiar with ethical protocols. It appears that President Obasanjo dream of financial accountability to Nigerians will never happen.
Nigeria must repeal that section 308 of the 1999 Constitution that allow public servants to steal public funds with no hold Barrier.
Public servants who choose the worst and violate their roles must pay the price. It does not matter if you are the vice president or the president. Fraud is fraud.
Nigerians cannot afford to let go these con artists under the guise of official government that siphon public funds meant for social services for personal gain.
Rather than being their brothers and sisters keeper, they were looting the social services funds. It raises serious ethical concerns about the mental state of those whom we trusted to manage our public concerns.
Funny politicians, they are so brazen as to suggest they hold the keys to Nigerians hearts. Like the Niger Delta connections.
Justice Bayo Ojo said, the burden of democracy is time, it is not military rule. However, this kind of poor performance has the benefit of accumulating insubordination in a society.
As far as social services are concern, we expect public servants to come far ahead in discharging their duties honorably. Nigerians need leader that could response to uncertainty that brighten sense in dignity.
The problem with mismanagement is that innocent citizens become victims, which increase the danger facing all Nigerians. If these politicians are driven and confident, then they should try to do the right thing at all time.
*Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital was named "PITAKWA"
VICE PRESIDENT ATIKU
PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT FUND (PTDF)
Nigeria has grown to become a unique and complex society. Nigeria must come up with a procedures tailored to meet the specific needs of her citizens. Those in charge of the public goods must ascertain that adequate provisions will be made for availability of funds. Nigerians need assurance that the next president will be relevant and accountable. There is enough immoral outrage around to lead me to believe that Nigerians are in danger. Nigerians can play an important role in bridging their family together.
A little bit of honesty increases oneís personal pride.
Posted on the web-01/01/07
Prince S. Banigo Sr.