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THE AGONY OF A SLUMBERING NIGER DELTA (EDITORIAL)

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The various cries and agitations of our visionary leaders berthed the Oil Minerals Producing Development Commission (OMPADEC) by the Decree 23 of July 1992. The main aim of the formation of OMPADEC was to ensure the human capital development of the youths of the Niger Delta area as well as superintendent over the developmental agenda of the region.

Later, on the 5th of June in the year 2000, the Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC was established with the mandate to among other things do the following;
Firstly, to formulate policies and guidelines for the development of the Niger Delta area.

Conception, Planning and Implementation by set rules and regulations of projects and programmes for sustainable development of the Niger Delta region in the field of transportation, including roads, jetties, and waterways, health, employment, industrialization, agriculture and fisheries, housing and urban development, water supplies, electricity and telecommunications.

Thirdly, survey the Niger Delta to ascertain measures necessary to promote its physical and Socioeconomic development. OMPADEC could not achieve its aim of creation, so it gave way to the NDDC.

Unfortunately and contrary to the beautiful and well-crafted visions, aim and objectives of the NIGER DELTA DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION (NDDC) and its predecessor, OMPADEC one would think that the Niger Delta area would be an “Eldorado”.

It’s sad to say that even “the dog has eaten the bones tied to its neck.” The NDDC has rather become a “Cash cow” and a conduit pipe to service some “Priests of Persia” while the servants suffer and wallow in abject poverty and penury.

The Commission was created to tackle ecological and environmental problems arising from the exploration of Oil minerals in the region and advise the Federal Government and member States on the prevention and control of oil spillages, gas flaring and environmental pollution as well as provide developmental blueprints and programmes, has become a source of more troubles and concerns to the people of the region. It’s now being used more as a ‘political compensation agency and kickback mechanism instead of its original purpose. WHAT A SHAME, O YEAH, NIGER DELTANS, WHO HAS BEWITCHED YOU?

Another core mandate of the NDDC is to train and educate the youths of the oil-rich region to curb hostilities and militancy while developing key infrastructure to promote diversification and productivity. This mandate has long been forgotten or not even known ab-initio by the lieutenants deployed to man the commission by their “Generals of self-seeking purposes.”

My innermost bitterness is the nonplussed attitude of the Niger Delta leaders who are mostly blinded by greed, avarice and self-aggrandizement. POSTERITY SHALL JUDGE YOU!

Our supposed leaders in the Niger Delta are either unaware of the real aim and objectives of the creation of the NDDC as an interventionist agency or are blindly conniving with the enemies of the region to plunder the region.

Alas! Niger Delta leaders, youths and every stakeholder we have slumbered for too long. ODI is a living and scary example. One day, our negotiating power, our pride, our voice, strength, our source of attraction will be no more. Then, those who dare not look in our eyes will come out and spit on our faces.

The time is now, let us retrace our footsteps and get back to the right things. The NDDC document is powerful enough if we insist that the right thing be done.

Niger Delta can be even more than Paris, Dubai, etc. We need to be united and know that injury again is an injustice against all.

Long Live Niger Delta! Long Live Nigeria!!

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