This kind of troubling revelation, in a country with decent leadership, should serve as a base for apprehending the culprits with a view to bringing them to justice. On the contrary, however, the culprits are presently active ‘power brokers’ in
Successive governments in
The leaders did not observe the rules in its application to frustrate the opposition. The deeper motives of introducing these measures were rarely nationalistic; they were primarily motivated by self-interest for the acquisition of wealth and power. And the scourge of bad governance persisted thereby isolating the political elite from the generality of the citizenry. In other words, it up thus:” The growing distance between this political elite and the general public, however has undermined accountability…poverty and frustration over the slow pace of change fan public anger…” .The fallout of the hypocritical postures towards corrupt practices has been a ceaseless cycle of political and legitimacy crises. Citizens expressed their discontentment against irresponsible governance, and invariably lost their faith in the system. This situation gained wider currency in the Niger Delta region, where oil exploration had further impoverished the people. The region produced the bulk of the wealth of
Eventually, “problems of legitimacy, transparency and mismanagement tainted by political jobbery have crippled these agencies that were established to deliver development in the region. This is aggravated by faulty institutional framework and poor technical and managerial capacity for effective programme delivery. ”
The impoverishment of the Niger Delta area had begun since the first republic. Adaka Boro’s struggle was a response to the situation . The extreme deprivation peaked during the years that followed the emergence of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), in the Abacha years, and intensified with the “judicial murder” of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni activists. The people demanded an equitable share of the proceeds of oil revenues to improve their living and environmental conditions. An observer noted that: “The poverty level in the Niger Delta in spite of their oil keeps growing. The youths are aggrieved and radicalized by the activities of government and oil firms.
No roads, water, light, schools, hospitals. People are tired of talking because nothing is coming out from many years of talking. So, the youths feel the only thing to do now to get the attention of government and oil firms is to become militant… I think the government, which, for many years, failed to address the unacceptable poverty and total neglect of the oil-producing communities, created the problem. The demands of the oil producing communities were met with repressive force. A select few, mostly the political elites, were given a foretaste of the booty through the game of political intrigues of divide and rule tactics.
The more the use of repressive force were used, the more the instability in the polity and the more the people distance themselves from political participation. The cycle of crises and chaos, which has engulfed the Niger Delta region today, with its multiplier effects on the national politics, began as a result of deprivation and bad governance. For instance, it was discovered that Nigerian leaders have looted over US$500billion since independence.
In a bid to stem the rising tide of opposition, political leaders, both civilian and military, exploit and manipulate the entrenched ethnic divide in
Deliberate and conscious efforts, borne out of patriotism, are needed to ensure the emergence of a virile civil society. An informed civil society is necessary to balance the power of the