Some Niger Delta elders yesterday blamed the crisis in the region on years of poor leadership and mismanagement of resources allocated to the region.
The elders said over the years leaders from the region misappropriated and squandered huge revenues that accrued to the Niger Delta from different federal resources and interventionist agencies.
They spoke at an annual birthday lecture titled: “The Niger Delta Question and Imperative of Visionary Leadership,” organised in honour of Chief Mike Loyibo at Tuomo, Bomadi local government area of Bayelsa State.
The programme was attended by many Niger Delta leaders and friends of Loyibo including the Presidential Adviser on Niger Delta, Gen. Paul Boro (rtd) who was represented by former president of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Chris Ekiyor, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees, Chief Gordon Bozimo and retired Supreme Court Justice, F.F Tabai, amongst others.
The guest lecturer, Prof. Benjamin Okaba of the Delta State University (DELSU), said the amnesty programme could not tackle the problems in the region because it was dead on arrival.
Okaba said the programme including the establishment of the Niger Delta Ministry only succeeded in empowering few people and making them stupendously rich at the detriment of the region’s development.
He said, “What have we done with the little we have got? Let us look at the issues of leadership. We have 13 per cent derivation. We have appointees. But what have we done with them? The agitation is okay but they are not sufficient for the repositioning of the region.”
Copyright Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to www.shipsandports.com.ng as the source.