By: Lanre Atere
SIR: Nigeria is blessed both in human and natural resources and should by no means have any dealings with poverty and the level of underdevelopment that has bedevilled her over the years had these resources been properly harnessed and judiciously used for the country.
Unfortunately, the perennial insincerity of purpose and quest for power its leaders, whose avarice and massive looting of our commonwealth across all strata, has put the country permanently on its knees
The levels of poverty, deplorable state of infrastructure across the country, particularly in the Niger Delta are a shame and source of anguish. The Nigerian economy is largely dependent on oil revenues from the region yet the level of poverty, gaping dearth of basic amenities and underdevelopment, is astounding.
It’s instructive to note that the problem is indeed systemic, and caused by people of the region, who when saddled with the responsibility of developing their people and land, work with their local and ‘foreign’ cohorts to the detriment of the downtrodden.
The creation of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in 1999 was well-intended towards speedy development programmes and projects that would have a direct impact on the people of that region. Sadly, this noble intention and good purpose have become a mirage because of the mismanagement of resources allocated to the commission by these people.
The perpetrators indulge in disgraceful acts of looting that makes one wonder if they need money in the hereafter. They have turned NDDC into a conduit to deprive the region of the expected development and progress it deserves and direly needs.
The cancerous disease of corruption amongst our leaders is, sadly, incurable, considering their gluttonous desires.
How could one explain the humongous amount of money being paid out by NDDC even when the commission is under intense scrutiny for financial infractions?
The system needs a total clean up; all revelations, allegations, investigation and probes of corruption cases going on is a good omen for the country so far they are pursued to logical conclusion – without fair or favour.
The probes by the National Assembly has opened can of worms. The melodramas, belligerent attacks, propaganda and shenanigans by the major actors of the Niger Delta ministry, including Minister Godswill Akpabio, and management of the NDDC, are irresponsible and smacks of failure of leadership.
Leaders of the National Assembly must not use its ‘oversight authority’ to cover the acts of its members that have been indicted in the sleazy deals of the NDDC. There is no gainsaying that the NASS, to a very large extent, has not covered itself in glory. To regain its sanctity, the leadership of both chambers must ensure that there are no sacred cows.
The spate of coordinated lootings and its blatant executions across government institutions, despite President Buhari’s resolute efforts in fighting corruption, is dreadful, and the good people of this country must rise up in unison to support the efforts of this government and all anti-corruption agencies to fight the menace to a standstill.
- Lanre Atere, Tamworth, United Kingdom.
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