The President, Niger Delta Youth Association, NDYA, worldwide, Comrade Victor James, met on a closed door meeting with the British Member of Parliament for Plymouth Sutton & Devonport, Oliver Colvile. Where he presented papers on ‘Degradation and deprivation of and in the Niger Delta, act now before it is too late’
The meeting with the conservative MP in view of the corruption attached to the Ogoni clean-up and other related Niger Delta oil spills, following report from the spokesperson for the group, Comrade Gaberiel Partterson. It is no longer news that the Niger Delta Region has witnessed severe environmental, human, infrastructural, economic and social degradation and deprivation.
This trend has worsened under the current administration. The reason is that under the previous administration led by President Dr Goodluck Jonathan, there was serious commitment by the federal government through the ‘Ministry for Niger Delta and Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)’ for the overall advancement and development of the region. Upon assumption of the current administration and following all the campaign promises which gave a high pedigree of expectation and hope to the people of the region, however, since the 29th of May 2015, federal commitment to the region in terms of its overall development plummeted to an alarming degree.
There are so many questions begging for answers and patience of the people of the region is running out with particular respect to the youths of the region who currently suffers economic, social and physical harassment from the federal government. One of the most challenging issues in the Niger Delta is the cleaning up of toxic pollutants disparaging the soil and waters of the region occasioned by years of oil and gas seismic exploration, exploitation and production of both multinational and indigenous oil/gas and technical companies operation in the region.
This ceaseless and persistent occurrence has terribly and severely disavowed any meaningful agro-economic activities that could be reasonably engaged in by youths particularly young graduates from the region. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) released an alarming report that the entire Niger Delta region is polluted but sadly, little has been done to clean up this menace to human habitation and progress. The federal government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR promised to pursue the clean-up process vigorously nevertheless; it is a shame that the clean-up so much so campaigned by his administration never made any provision in the 2016 as well as 2017 budgets for the clean-up programme.
Comrade Victor James who have publically written about the separation of religion & ethnicity from politics of Nigeria as to enable equity and the rule of law cum development added that to permit justice, environmentalism and development for the people of Niger Delta, there should be ‘Stabilization Clauses’ by the I.O.C (International Oil Companies), a clause, which often included in a host government agreement (HGA) or other international investment agreement that addresses how changes in law following the execution of the HGA are to be treated and the extent to which these changes modify the rights and obligations of the foreign investors under the HGA.
A stabilization clause is a means for foreign investors to mitigate or manage the political risks associated with their project. ‘‘Yes, I repeat, I trust nobody within the current politics of Nigeria. Our politicians in Niger Delta and federal government are having a side deal with the IOC and pretending as if they care for the common man in Niger Delta.’’