Tell them, Governor Okowa | The Guardian Nigeria News
Institutions go beyond the buildings or arenas in which people make policies. There are also the rules of behavior that influence or guide individuals to make good decisions. In recent times, there appear to be potentially worrying signals that the good intentions gathered in the creation of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) could be overturned by a fundamentally flawed leadership style. That’s why Governor Ifeanyi Okowa the other day chose to pleasantly inform the nation of the plight facing the oil states during a recent mind-boggling media interaction in Asaba. Among other things, he revealed that the NDDC was operating against the law establishing it to the displeasure and detriment of member states.
The position of governors in these disjointed times cannot be overstated. The facts and figures displayed can only be disputed by those with a hidden agenda. But those who demanded that a human face be grafted onto the NDDC must continue to demand the inauguration of its board of directors. It is a wrong approach for the commission to operate for two years without a substantial board of directors. If one may ask, how did the commission achieve its objectives in the oil regions? It should be noted that forming a board of directors does not require a rocket science program. But it is wrong to use forensic exercise to spread innocence and unduly delay the development and well-being of a people. Such an attitude is decidedly unnecessary and must be condemned.
More concretely, Nigerians should know that politics has not been idle under the Okowa administration. Under his leadership, the need to combat sectarian behavior associated with government contracts became an institution. Just as the nature of politics has changed from personal enrichment to selfless service to the people. For me, however, the most remarkable part of Okowa’s dissatisfaction with NDDC is the task and demonstration of his ability to always be on the side of the people. In Britain, during the heated Brexit debate, Boris Johnson was reportedly undecided as to which side to support in the referendum call. Out of this frustration, he wrote two famous columns – one for, the other against; and chose the argument he found most convincing. But, in the case of the NDDC, Okowa does not need to speak twice before informing Nigerians once again of the presidency’s insensitivity to the plight of the people, especially since it concerns the people. Nigerien Deltans. Of course, this has been the signature of the federal government to pretend to speak out on issues concerning the region, as it always has a say while people have a say in the lamentations. What the NDDC needs most at its highest political and executive level is a formed council in these difficult times. This would go a long way in bringing the needs of the region to the attention of the commission.
Indeed, Okowa was touching as always when he said, âWe have made it clear our position as governors of the South-South. We talked about how we feel and it is very unfortunate that … states are now denied the opportunity to have their representatives on the board … “Despite all the talks, the NDDC continues to operate on irregularities even then. that it does not benefit from fiscal autonomy. In the face of these aberrations, the NDDC acts as if the Member States have unprecedented representation. Indeed, this dismal picture is marred by a reputation which the Member States did not seek and which they certainly do not enjoy. In a way, the NDDC has become the victim of a political power game, thus undermining its objectives. Listening to some of the executive utterances, one could be forgiven for thinking that they came from outer space. Of course, their lifestyle provides daily proof that anyone so disposed would wonder if the limit of patience is not exceeded.
To ensure a clear focus on the development goals being the reason for the creation of the NDDC, the need for representatives of the oil states is paramount. The nonchalant attitude of forming the NDDC board of directors has once again added bite to the endless tale of mismanagement of issues relating to the Niger Delta region. For example, the problem of the end of gas flares in the region can be described as a change of post; while oil spills are sometimes explained as the work of vandals. However, one thing that is common to the oil companies and the federal government is the race for oil blocs and the petrodollar grab. That it took several painful years of government wrangling and setbacks to bring the NDDC to justice, so it’s no surprise that little has been done to enable it to achieve its goals.
Unfortunately, the Niger Delta region is becoming increasingly difficult to live and work. The clues that require the above are not far-fetched: environmental degradation, oil companies doing business in the region have their headquarters in remote locations, lack of training opportunities for young people in the region among others . In all of this, the government of the day seems to be sending discordant airs as it refuses to honor its words that as soon as the forensic report has been submitted, the NDDC board of directors will be inaugurated. Such discontinuities between declaration and practice are indeed not the best demonstration that a democratic government should be seen to be made. In these difficult times, they are not only a serious provocation, they are subversive to the development agenda of the Niger Delta region.