Unfortunately, in the oil-producing states, including Bayelsa, there is no such thing as a legislative oversight of the executive branch. The governors collect the funds, make the budgets and spend the funds at their own discretion. The legislators wait in anticipation of being rewarded financially for not impeding the governors. The governors use the funds to manipulate the behavior of the legislators. This is why the former governor of
As can be seen, it is not far-fetched to say that government is defective in Ijawland. Between 1999 and 2007, particularly, in Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, and
The youths who are engaging in this dishonorable political business do not realize that by serving as political storm troopers to corrupt politicians, they are actually depriving themselves, their off-springs and relatives of a better future because they help to put and perpetuate oligarchs in power who do not really care about them. After clamoring for political and economic rights for decades, it is very difficult to fathom the idea that Ijaw politicians and some youth groups would actually engage themselves in activities designed to prevent their people from exercising political rights.
If one were to compare the period 1970-1980 with 1999-2007, the former period beats the later period at all levels of comparison with the exception of corruption. This means that Chief Diete Spiff, Col. Samuel Ogbemudia and Col. Samuel Essuene did wonders for Rivers, Bendel, and
Due to lack of performance by public officials in the oil producing region, Nigerians from the non-oil producing regions are insisting that there should be no additional increase in the revenues of the oil-producing states since their leaders are unable to effectively manage the current levels of allocation that accrue to them.
11. In reviewing various websites with a view of determining the rate of Ijaw utilization of various means of communication, the impression is created that the Ijaws are still not comfortable utilizing internet technology to communicate. Whether the search engine is google or yahoo or any other, information about various aspects of Ijaw culture, traditions, and existence is very limited. There are no major pictures of Ijaw dances, masquerades, artefacts, towns, villages, costumes, festivals etc. Of all the festivals that take place in Ijawland, only Odi Ogori Uge has pictures, thanks to the effort of Mr. Francis Udisi. Even pictures of the destruction of Odi, Odiama, Obuama, Okrika etc, are rarely seen. The Ijaw websites, with the exception of Ijawnation and
In examining Nigerian pictures of various groups, it was very difficult to get Ijaw pictures. It was much easier to get pictures of smaller ethnic groups based in the North than that of the Ijaws. The Okrika Adumu (Odumu) festival and Ogwein masquerade appeared in little pictures. Only one Opobo masquerade appeared much larger. Some Kalabari pictures appeared through the effort of Sokari Douglas Camp.
The implication is that the Ijaws still do not seem to realize the fact that a picture speaks a thousand words. Thus, the Ijaws have an extensive work to do in order to inform the world about their existence in pictures As stated in an article earlier, the Ijaws must document their existence, using every available communication technology.
12. A new approach is needed in dealing with territorial disputes. Instead of going for a war option, a very simple traditional method could be very effective in deescalating such conflicts. For instance, in the ongoing Ijaw-Urhobo territorial dispute involving Aladja, why not call on both sides to swear in honor of their ancestors? If the Ijaws are convinced that the land is theirs, then why not swear by Egbesu or some other ancestral deity to the effect and let the consequence takes its course? In fact, some Ikwerre families applied this method in the early 1970s when some people presented fake property documents to claim land in their territory. The Ikwerre families simply told those who came with such documents to swear by their ancestors that they actually purchased the lands that they were claiming on the documents. Most of those claimants never returned as soon as the idea of swearing in the name of the ancestors was suggested.
This option is even more effective than the courts since it is generally believed in traditional African cultures that it is an abomination to swear falsehood in the name of the ancestors. It should be reminded that the Secretary of the Ondo State Government, Mr. Isaac Kekemeke suggested this method for determining truth when some Ijaw youths demanded payments from the governor and government of
Many people would find this suggestion indigestible due to their socialization and religious orientation. Nevertheless, something has to happen, otherwise, the Ijaws might end up constantly fighting wars with themselves and their neighbors over territorial ownership. Already, the impression is being propounded by Ijaw detractors painting them as a ‘bunch of troublemakers and war-mongers’. Territorial disputes would get worse in the future as people realize the importance of building resorts near the sea and move downwards.
13. The Ijaws should realize that sooner or later, the significance of petroleum in the world economy would diminish as the industrialized countries search for alternative fuels. Already,
Finally, it is crucial for Ijaw leaders to focus their energies in developing Ijawland infrastructurally, economically and otherwise now, before it is too late. There is no more time for extravagant spending in the ethnic nation by public officials. The Ijawnation cannot afford to have its credibility tarnished due to lack of performance.