Why Niger Delta is backward – Former Reps Deputy Speaker

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A former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chubudom Nwuche, has decried the backwardness of the oil-rich Niger Delta region, blaming it on the failure of the governors of the region to account for the funding accruing to it.

He also attributed the underdevelopment of the region to non-participation of the region in the ownership of the oil resource.

Mr. Nwuche said this in a statement released on Friday by his media aide, Blessing Oyagiri.

The Niger Delta region comprises Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo and Rivers States. Other oil producing states which are members of the Niger Delta Development Commission are Abia, Imo and Ondo.

Mr. Nwuche, an indigene of Rivers State, lamented that the problems of the region had remained even though one of its sons, Goodluck Jonathan, was president and while others occupied top political positions in the country.

He noted that the renewed agitation of the youth in the Niger Delta had highlighted many issues of continued marginalisation of the oil producing areas in spite of the 13% derivation fund that has accrued to the states since 1999.

“My colleagues and I in the 1999 National Assembly were instrumental in compelling the Federal Government to commence the implementation of the derivation formula, but our people have not seen commensurate development from those resources that should have transformed the Niger Delta region into mini-Dubai,” he said.

“Also, the lack of participation of the Niger Delta people in the ownership of oil blocs and involvement in oil services and the commanding heights of the oil and gas sector have been a disadvantage.”

“I commend the acknowledgement that we must also shoulder some of the blame for these problems as we failed to hold our governors accountable for the derivation fund.

“We also had our sons and daughters as both president, ministers and minister of petroleum and they could not address these problems or the other infrastructural challenges in the region.”

Mr. Nwuche hailed the recent dialogue between President Muhammadu Buhari and the indigenes of the Niger Delta under the leadership of Edwin Clark as a way of addressing the challenges in the region.

Stating that nothing could be gained from destruction and war, the former deputy speaker appealed to the youth of the region to lay down their arms and embrace peace while asking federal government to look into the problems confronting the region.

“I urge the current government to look into these problems in the interest of justice, equity and national cohesion. And dialogue is the right way to addressing these issues.”

On the recent legislative rerun election in Rivers State, Mr. Nwuche, who is a member of the All Progressives Congress, commended the Independent National Electoral Commission and the security agencies for outstanding performances during the exercise.

He said as opposed to the past, security agencies allowed the people of the state to exercise their franchise unmolested.

He said in the past there were instances where people were killed in some places, including Ahoada East and West LGAs, for voting for APC.

He condemned the murder of some policemen, including a deputy superintendent of police, during the election, describing the incident as “most unfortunate.”


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  • Rommel

    The amount of money that has been pumped into the Nigeria delta is by far more than what has gone into any other region so inability to develop is not from lack of participation of locals in oil industry or funds but rather,the unwillingness of the political leaders from those areas to think like normal human beings.

    • Du Covenant

      I couldn’t agree with you more. Another dimension to this issue is attitude, attitude & attitude.The way we talk about ownership of oil as if you can just turn on the tap and drink it. The fact that over 50 yrs since this curse was discovered in Nigeria, we still have nothing to show the world for means a lot. I have been fortunate to visit countries where no drop of oil is in their soil yet, they have refineries, never experienced shortage of fuel or queues at their filling stations, they are organised and everything appears to work for them. What works in Nigeria?. This is why I bring ‘attitude’ into the equation. Even if every individual from the oil region owns an oil well, the same mess we are currently witnessing will still go on and another excuse will be created. Nigeria’s problems are caused by our attitude towards everything. How can vandalizing oil facilities bring about improvement in people’s lives?, how can students going on strike burn their libraries, hostels make our universities great places to learn?, how do you expect stealing traffic light accessories will make the same traffic lights work?, how do you expect stealing transformer parts, electricity meters, cutting electricity cables for the copper make us have regular electricity supply?, the list of attitudinal problems Nigerians have goes on and I rest my case!.

      • Rommel

        Excellent point you have made but how do we begin to change the attitude of populace when political leaders and elders are the ones who laid the foundation for the wrong attitudes we are talking about,if the elders are the problem,where will the youths learn from?

        • Du Covenant

          It is pretty obvious that Nigeria has been devoid of honest leadership for a very long time this is why we are in such a mess. If you look at the current political space since 1999, no decent Nigerians want to be associated with it. Instead you have people with questionable characters charting the course of our country. To answer your question, we must throw away the aspect our culture which demands the youth to respect elders unconditionally. If you are familiar with the Bernie Madoff investment scandal, his sons blew the whistle first, why are Nigerians not wired like that?. I understand Ibori has been released from prison recently and there was celebration from certain quarters as usual even though he pleaded guilty before a London court to his grand theft of public funds something we could not achieve in Nigeria because of our attitude. The irony of it all is, the people he stole from, abused their trust are celebrating his release and that is our problem in Nigeria!.

          • Rommel

            Of course I am very familiar with Bernie Madoff,you gotta understand one thing,just visit a Pentecostal church in Nigeria and find out why they are very popular,that will give you an insight in who the people are,nobody is ready to take responsibility,someone like President Jonathan with all the money available to him was always demanding for prayers from Nigerians without realizing his role in developing Nigeria and with advent of social media today,I am afraid we may never make it again.Singapore,Korea,China,India,Malaysia etc were all nations that took difficult but necessary steps that propelled them to developed economies,most of it had to do with prevention of importation of finished goods unless necessary ones,this forced their citizens into becoming resourceful and the result is what we see today, Nigerians are just not willing or ready for that kind of sacrifice,that is why the opposition to PMB is very vicious especially coming from certain interests

          • Du Covenant

            Spot on my broda. We are in deep trouble in Nigeria because we are never tired of excuses to the extend we are still blaming colonialism for our troubles. The countries you mentioned made the conscious decision in their history to be truly independent and worked on. Look at the appetite of Nigerians for goods produced by others, Dubai was conceived and built within 18 yrs, now every thief in Nigeria has or aspires to own a property in Dubai. We claim to be a democracy since 1999, what can we show for for the past 20yrs?. Instead we have people like Saraki as the senate president, governors like Wike in Rivers sate, have you heard this man speak? or listen to the recently released tape?. We are not moving forward or improving on anything. Thanks to PMB we have an insight into how our elite use our commonwealth to keep us where we are, all governors in the country had a conspiracy of silence, left the fight on corruption on the shoulders of one man at the federal level without replicating it at the State and local government level. By Nigerian standard, PMB is a saint but, see the venom aimed at him. The President of South Korea shared classified information to a confident and look how they people reacted. In Nigeria the Panama papers mentioned Saraki, David Mark etc, they just denied it and stayed put. David Cameron had to apologize for his father’s name, the Prime minister of Iceland resigned etc. I am listing these examples to show how different we are and things will never be any different if we do not change our attitude. Nigerians want to have everything there is in this world without any personal sacrifice, it is never going to happen!. As for those funny churches in Nigeria, I do not listen to none of them and I consider myself a christian, I will never listen to them and will never use them for anything.

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  • thusspokez

    Well blame the people for electing natural born rogues and thieves who infiltrate political parties to seek their votes, and then, when in power, raid their state treasury.

  • GusO

    They should blame their governors, commissioners and state legislators for their so-called underdevelopment. The governors get the most blame. Gov Wike is busy bribing judges and rogue INEC officials instead using the money to develop his state.

  • bib

    GEJ tried to ‘solve’ the problems of non participation of indigines of ND by giving pipeline protection contracts to Tompolo, Dokubo etc. Abi he no try. Tompolo has so much money to sponsor militancy, Dokubo, though a stack illiterate, is alleged to own a university in republic of Benin.As for governors. Ibori is the most celebrated son of ND, the crookest president Nigeria never had.