By Harris Emanuel, Uyo
A Professor of Economics, University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Chris Ekong has cautioned against the entitlement sense of some States in the Niger Delta over the ownership of the resources sharing in the region.
According to him, this disposition must stop if the people of the region must live and work together as a uni-regional entity.
Professor Ekong spoke against the backdrop of the agitations by some Ijaw and Urhobo groups against the appointment of Effiong Akwa as the Sole Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Ekong,a former Commissioner for Sports in the state noted that currently Akwa Ibom State alone contributes to about 40% of Nigeria’s total oil production, and 80% of that contribution is from Oron nation where Akwa comes from.
He said, “let us look at the NDDC issue from a rational point of view and not from the Akpabio’s spectrum, which is garnished with conspiracy theories.
When Akpabio facilitated the IMC for the Commission with the FG suspending the earlier approved Board nominated by the President and approved by the National Assembly, hell was not let loose because Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta States (the core Ijaw States) of the Niger Delta were well positioned.
“When the only representative on the IMC from Akwa Ibom State died, there were no protests by the acclaimed owners of the Niger Delta, even for a quick replacement or supporting the youths of Eket nation who call for reasons for the demise of their son.
“When the Prof Pondei’s led IMC disgraced the Niger Delta and Nigerians on international live TV coverage of fraud in NDDC at the National Assembly, the agitators did not raise any adverse voice to protest him out of office.
“When a competent and experienced hand in Mr Akwa- lawyer and chartered accountant, a former SA Finance at the same Commission was appointed by the President to oversee the forensic audit process of the Commission which may not last for more than the next six months, States and tribes that derive origin from “god” started shouting, protesting and invoking hell storm, even to the extent of dismissing Akwa Ibom State as being part of the Niger Delta as well as an oil-producing State.
“It should be noted that currently, Akwa Ibom State alone contributes to about 40% of Nigeria’s total oil production, and 80% of that contribution is from Oron nation, where Mr. Akwa hails from. That His Excellency, Godswill Akpabio and Mr. Akwa are not Ijaws is never an indication that they are not from the Niger Delta as recently orchestrated by some renegade protesters.
“Also, notice that at various times and instances, the Commission had been led by Sole Administrators who were from Rivers and Bayelsa States, and no tantrums were thrown. Also notice that from the inception of the Niger Delta Amnesty Commission, only Ijaws from Bayelsa State had been handling affairs there, in many cases as Sole Administrators. No benefits in terms of scholarships and other benefits of this highly funded Amnesty Commission has come to the indigenes of Akwa Ibom State as every activity of that Commission is shrouded in secrecy. Nobody in Akwa Ibom, nay Niger Delta has protested the outcome of the event here.
“The entitlement sense of some States in the Niger Delta over the ownership of the resources sharing in the region must stop if we must live and work together as a uni-regional entity.”