Let’s Not Truncate The Current Development

BY KINGSLEY AZUH
CONFLICT has been part of the human society from time immemorial, but as the society grows and civilization and modernization evolve, the nature of conflict becomes more sophisticated and difficult to control. Although, many have argued that for there to be permanent peace in any given society, conflict cannot totally be avoided but must be followed by peaceful resolution.
Conflict can even start from the womb; that is between
twins. When Esau was coming out from the womb, his twin brother, Jacob held his leg and when they were eventually born, in the event of time, Esau sold his birth right and the blessings meant for him was totally stolen by his twin brother Jacob. This biblical story is meant to buttress the fact that conflict is as old as man on this earth.
In modern day society conflicts arise as result of struggle for power, fight for ethnic recognition and relevance,
neglect of some sections or groups in a political setting, deprivation and degradation of oil producing communities, lack of physical development in the midst of plenty, corruption and other human vices.
The Niger Delta is today witnessing this development because of its position as an oil producing region. The Nigerian economy no doubt is a monolithic economy which depends solely on oil and gas from the Niger Delta for its revenue. This gave rise to serious conflict
as a result of the activities of the restive youths, demanding for a better attention in the development of the area.
As a well-known fact, Niger Delta is a key element to the booming economy of Nigeria. Niger Delta represents
the wealth of the nation, where oil and gas constitute over 85 per cent of revenue accruing to it. The people of the Niger Delta are made up of a variety of comparatively small ethnic nationalities, which are highly industrious with similarity in culture, values, norms, and belief systems.
The Niger Delta area constitutes a key component of what is today known as Nigeria. The Niger Delta area is rich with abundant mineral resources especially, the hydro-carbon deposits. Crude oil production and export
from the region dominates the Nigerian economy, accounting for over 90 per cent of the nation’s total export earnings.
The area no doubt, represents one of the economic nerves of the country but regrettably, it is largely under
developed with impoverished people, and over 85 per cent of the population live in abject poverty and squalor.
The people are impoverished by the activities of the oil companies that have affected their farm land, polluted their fresh water with oil spills and, the atmosphere
with occasional acid rain.
This situation gave rise to serious conflict in the Niger
Delta with all the States receiving their lion share of the problem. One problem gave rise to another and today we are all living witnesses to the grave economic predicament these crises have caused.
There is no doubt that the various conflict situations in Niger Delta range from a deep sense of deprivation
from unsatisfactory resource allocation and total neglect of the area by the federal government. Niger Delta is the economic mainstay of the Federation, and the people have always felt that they have not received
A completed road in one of the riverine areas of the state.
commensurate benefits from the Oil wealth located in theirarea.
There is no doubt that in spite of the high volume of oil produced in the region and its attendant contribution
to the common wealth of Nigeria, the physical, socio- economic life of the people had suffered neglect, this is a precursor to crisis in the region.
in order to restore peace and to contain restiveness and militancy in the area the Federal Government Shehu Musa Yaradua found it expedient to make peace and security as an agenda of its development strategy, and this gave rise to various strategies and programmes that were put in place to ensure peace and security in the area.
On assumption of office in 2015, Governor IfeanyiOkowa
was greeted with militant activities in the Niger Delta with Delta State bearing the blunt. This coupled with the fall of oil in the international market, brought the economy of Delta State to its knees. It is only by the grace of God that the Governor is still able to pilot the affairs of the state
With these sick economic realities, the administration of Okowa has continued to fulfil her electoral promises with seriously pains. Deltans and Nigerians were therefore
filled with joy with hostilities ceased, and Deltans heaved signs of relief that its revenue might shove up in due course. However, reports making around about new Niger Delta Avengers are causing sleepless nights to well-meaning Deltans who are willing and eager to see the continuation of Okowa’s rapid infrastructural transformation in the state.
All those dissenting voices should heed the voice of the elders and give peace a chance. Those who are in the habit of playing politics with serious issues that affect their people should desist from such double standard which is only geared towards selfishness and self-aggrandizement.
President MohammaduBuhari should spell out what he thinks about the problem in the Niger Delta. Let his words stand the taste of time for the good of the region. Today, Okowa is constructing and rehabilitating roads in the riverine areas of the state. This is to improve the lives of the riverine people. It is a simple fact that this cannot continue if crisis erupts in the riverine areas as a result of the activities of militants.
For development to continue in the Niger Delta, especially Delta State, let the New Niger Delta Avengers
embrace dialogue for the good of our state. Those urging them on, are enemies of the state, and posterity shall pronounce them guilty when the time comes.