By Clifford Christopher Solomon
Comrade Kennedy West
National President, Movement for the Survival of Izon Ethnic Nationality in the Niger Delta, MOSIEND Comrade Kennedy West in a chat with National Point newspaper on Monday October 18, 2021 in Port Harcourt dismissed widely held insinuations that the problems of the Niger Delta region are caused by the Northerners.
He said Nigeria is a country where you have several ethnic nationalities in decision making and so Niger Deltans in power have failed to develop the region.
“Nigeria is a heterogeneous state where you have several ethnic nationalities that rise to the stardom of governance and take decisions. In all of these, there has always been a Niger Deltan in the corridors of power that has always been advised on what to do in the region. Whatever decision they take is based on the advice our people who at that time, at the corridor of power, give.
I give you two key instances, Godsday Orubebe, was the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs during former President Goodluck Jonathan (administration) were the projects in the Niger Delta efficiently and conclusively executed in the interest of the people? The answer is No! We have Godswill Akpabio, who is currently the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs; when he was in Akwa Ibom State as governor he was referred to as an “Uncommon Governor.” He is a minister today and has failed woefully and he is now the bane of the development of the Niger Delta. We say this because Godswill Akpabio was appointed minister in 2019 and 2019 budget was approved; In 2020, 2021 budgets were approved and 2022 budget is about to be approved. If you aggregate these budgets of 2019, 2020, 2021 that is about N799 billion plus; so where in the Niger Delta have they sunk these monies for us to see?
“Those monies are not in Mohammadu Buhari’s wallet to expend but rather in Akpabio’s wallet. Apart from the NDDC headquarters which was 90 per cent completed before Akpabio came in, contractors are even paid selectively and also expect a kick back of 70 per cent from the money. The water hyacinth contract in the Niger Delta has not been paid not to talk about other jobs that are not paid as we speak.
“The Minister of Niger Delta did make a promise that July was the month for the appointment of NDDC Board, we are in October, the forensic audit report has been submitted long ago, we can’t get the full report or implementation and the Board members constituted to swing into action. Those are not Buhari’s fault, it is the fault of the substantive minister whom the president has given power to develop the Niger Delta and several other sundry issues.
“So when you look at all these, we are the bane of our misfortune. We have applied ‘pull him down syndrome’ to drag us back; we have applied egocentric, self-centered and fifth columnist approach to impoverish our people and yet we keep pointing accusing fingers, saying that the North has been our bane to our problem”.
Kingsley said his position is a result of careful analysis.
“MOSIEND is not a fan of President Buhari. We have carefully analyzed the situation on ground, how privileges and opportunities given to our people that are supposed to empathize with our ordeal, immediately come up with resolution and road map, how we can overcome our present predicament”.
The Ijaw pressure group called on President Buhari to urgently constitute the NDDC Board.
“We are using this medium to urge the President to as a matter of urgency, constitute the NDDC Board. If he feels there is controversy, then he should constitute the names you have sent to the National Assembly ab initio and let them hit the ground running.
“I can tell you, six years into the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has not achieved anything in the Niger Delta. President Muhammadu Buhari has achieved zero development in the Niger Delta region; no thanks to our brothers who have been at the corridors of power who misinform him, misguide and give him information that are selfish, beneficial to themselves alone”.
He advised Buhari to check out the reality on ground.
“The President needs to take a walk into the Niger Delta and juxtapose it with the amount he has put in the region to get the realization to himself. MOSIEND is not among those who want to pull down our brothers; we can say that our brother Sen. Godswill Akpabio, has failed woefully as far as the development of the Niger Delta is concerned and we are very worried that such a person is considering to contest the presidential election. “The likes of Akpabio should not even conceive it because he has done nothing in the Niger Delta. What are his achievements as far as the ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and the supervisory minister of NDDC are concerned? What are his legacy projects to attract followership?
“This is why our people at the corridor of power need to have re-orientation about the position they occupy. Very few of them that you can look at and say they are working,” the MOSIEND president stated.
He however, gave kudos to the minister of state for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, noting, that some things are happening in his corridor even as he lamented over the three per cent granted host communities in the PIA.
Said he: “Even if we are not comfortable with the three per cent of the Petroleum Industry Act for host communities which is grossly insufficient compared to the environmental hazard we are getting.
“Compared to the neglect we have seen, compared to what we are putting into the center, three per cent is embarrassing and a pitiable sight to us. However, the Petroleum Industry Act has come to stay, it has been able to de-compartmentalize NDDC. One person who is not a Niger Deltan that we commend is Mallam Mele Kyari, who is the GMD of NNPC. Recently he went to Oporoza, Port Harcourt Refinery to see things for himself and all that has to do with the Niger Delta. Such a person deserves an award from Niger Deltans and should be a reference point for people to emulate on how to treat our people.
“He is not a Niger Deltan but he has awarded contract for the rehabilitation of Port Harcourt Refinery, Warri Refinery rehabilitation and other sundry jobs and is working hand in glove with the minister of state for Petroleum, Timipreye Sylva, which means there are still a few people who want the region to develop.”