Oil & Gas Polluted Niger Delta

A call has been made for the declaration of a state of emergency on the economic and social life of the Niger Delta people. A group known as the Niger Delta Support Group NIDSG made the demand while on a protest march along the major streets of Warri, Delta State.

The group in their protest expressed disappointment at the underdevelopment and exploitation in the region by various federal, state governments and multinational oil and gas companies operating in the region.

The group opines that restructuring of the country politically and economically remains the only viable option to solve the Niger Delta problem. It insisted that the region has not been treated fairly by the other components tribes in the Nigerian nation because they are in the minority.

Members of the Niger Delta Support Group NIDSG

According to Victor Udeme Odogbor the group’s convener  “We in the Niger Delta suffer more than anyone else in Nigeria — the brunt from the life-threatening environmental hazards from oil and gas exploration, but the oil wells are owned mostly by our neighbours from the North who have dominated Nigeria’s political landscape since 1960.

“The abnormalities in the political structure of Nigeria ranging from economic, political and security cannot continue to remain. The ethnic minorities of the Niger Delta have been taken for a ride for too long and it is now an act of provocation. We demand a fair share of the returns from our oil and gas resources and 13% is not the fair share we need,” He said.

Mr Odogbor reasoned that restructuring Nigeria is the foundational ills in which other ills such as marginalization, corruption and underdevelopment rest hence the need to tackle that one first.

He defines restructuring as the political will to hand over the resources of an area back to the original owners of such resources and not political or economic slogan.

“We are all witnesses to never-ending news of stolen or missing oil and gas money without any proper accounting for the monies and without consequence as nobody has been sanctioned or prosecuted for these grave crimes against people’s future.

We in the Niger Delta suffer more than anyone else in Nigeria — the brunt from the life-threatening environmental hazards from oil and gas exploration, but the oil wells are owned mostly by our neighbours from the North who have dominated Nigeria’s political landscape since 1960.

“The abnormalities in the political structure of Nigeria ranging from economic, political and security cannot continue to remain. The ethnic minorities of the Niger Delta have been taken for a ride for too long and it is now an act of provocation.

“We demand a fair share of the returns from our oil and gas resources and 13% is not the fair share we need. We demand a return to the principles of derivation and need as revenue sharing formula given the extreme despoliation of our environment and its effects on our livelihoods today and in decades to come.

“We are convinced that if oil was produced in the Northern or Western regions of Nigeria, they will not be in the state the Niger Delta is today in terms of the environment, economic and political development. The bottom line is, if this present administration really desires to fight corruption, it should be willing to restructure Nigeria and grant resource control to the Niger Delta region, given its contributions to the national income and GDP of Nigeria.

Oil Pipeline Crisscrossing Niger Delta Communities

“Corruption is also perpetuating social and economic injustice which is reflected in the oppression of the goose that lays the golden egg of Nigeria and in the nepotism of this government in terms of core appointments. And if the Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate and other party candidates are sincere and serious about restructuring, they should as a matter of urgency put machinery in place to engage the stakeholders in the region and this is not limited to PANDEF and the Chief E.K. Clark dynasty.”

The group in the course of their protests displayed various placards such as “Niger Delta Support Group Demand for Justice, Equity and Fair Play”. “We Demand True Fiscal Federalism”, Provides Jobs for our Graduates” “Corruption is Killing Nigeria”. “Probe $2billion NLNG Fund and others depicting the state of injustice, unemployment and poverty in the Niger Delta

3 COMMENTS

LEAVE A REPLY