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Saturday 31 October 2020
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On the Fallacy that Ijaws and Niger Deltans Are Not Justified To Demand Development From Buhari’s Presidency — By Fortune God’sSon Alfred

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Just as Ijaw/Niger Delta GEJ cum PDP supporters became Nationalists who discouraged, discountenance and resisted almost all attempts to draw the attention of the President to the plight of our Homeland via criticism, the Ijaw/Niger Delta APC might also come up with the twisted logic that because Ijaws/Niger Deltans did not speak under GEJ, we shouldn’t speak under Buhari. All ready I have started seeing some put up that argument. The flaw in that fallacious assertion is that it fails to take cognizance of the fact that, the existential realities and internal contradictions that led to the previous phases of agitation in Ijaw land and the Niger Delta have not changed even under GEJ; and the fact that the so called opinion leaders were relatively mute about it under GEJ does not make the problem go away. We must also remember that even crushed insurrections do not obliterate feelings of neglect that led to them.

 

Many say Change has come to Nigeria. That is yet to be seen. However, even if one concede that to be true, the greater truth remains that Change is yet to come to the Niger Delta.

We were hoping and believing that we would get change in the second term that never came.

It was this faith(believing on the development that was not on ground, but hoped for) in a GEJ second term that made some of our people, especially the privileged class to silence all dissenting opinions about the true material conditions of the Niger Delta and all clamours for a better deal. The argument then is that let’s not add to the problems “our brother” was facing. So we suffered and smiled.

Now that our Brother’s tenure has ended, let’s us not continue pretending all is well or that infrastructural development in one section of the country is development of all.

Today, Dr Youpele Banigo brought my attention to a photo I posted of the East West road more than 2 years ago, when there was promise of progress on it. And that reminded me of what I told Ijaws in the Ijaw Nation Forum and many more in other fora before the election, that Ijaws had no reason to jettison our Strategic Interest and become more ‘patriotic’ and “Nationalistic” than Zik of African simply because one of ours was in OFFICE.

If care is not taken, this same mistake might repeat itself in the actions of Ijaw APC members. Just as Ijaw/Niger Delta GEJ cum PDP supporters became Nationalists who discouraged, discountenance and resisted almost all attempts to draw the attention of the President to the plight of our Homeland via criticism, the Ijaw/Niger Delta APC might also come up with the twisted logic that because Ijaws/Niger Deltans did not speak under GEJ, we shouldn’t speak under Buhari. All ready I have started seeing some put up that argument. The flaw in that fallacious assertion is that it fails to take cognizance of the fact that, the existential realities and internal contradictions that led to the previous phases of agitation in Ijaw land and the Niger Delta have not changed even under GEJ; and the fact that the so called opinion leaders were relatively mute about it under GEJ does not make the problem go away. We must also remember that even crushed insurrections do not obliterate feelings of neglect that led to them.

With the foregoing in mind, our APC brothers must learn from the hubris of their PDP counterparts and synthesize their personal interest with our long term strategic interest. That is how to pursue what we call enlightened interest.

 

NB: This short piece was first written and published on May 14, 2015



SAYELBA TIMES is an independent news group that focuses on original investigative reporting about critical issues facing all Niger Delta States including other parts of the world. Our contents are positive, creative, truthful and relevant.


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