High Chief Wellington Bobo, the Oroupawei of Gbaramatu Kingdom in a media parley with select Journalists in the Niger Delta Region, identified disunity and bad leadership as the bane of underdeveloped of the Niger Delta region.
He added that the menace of the common man in the Niger Delta region can only be addressed or resolved through the collective struggle of the people aimed at bringing up credible leaders that can effectively present the demands of the Niger Delta people.
He strongly suggested that it is time to flush out all the leaders that have constituted themselves into cogs in the wheel of progress in the region, and insisted that the people of the Niger Delta, particularly the leaders should sit tight and consciously do what is right for everyone in the larger society to benefit.
The erudite Justice of Peace (JP), lamented that the various agencies of government charged with the responsibilities of checking the excesses of the oil majors to better the lots of the Niger Delta people like the NNPC, DPR, NOSDRA, NCDMB, NDDC, MNDA among others are not willing to perform their statutory duties accordingly as they have sacrificed the destiny of the Niger Delta people on the altar of clannish interest.
He averred that Niger Deltan leaders should understand that the whole world is watching how they are badly paying the people in the region in bad coin.
According to Bobo, President Muhammadu Buhari should be kind-hearted and have listening ears to the plight and cry of the masses, so that his administration will not go down in history like that of Donald Trump of America who exited office without honor like the proverbial “Bull in the Chinese shop”.
Bobo, who is reputed to be relentlessly advocating for good governance in the region declared that every office holder saddled with one responsibility or the other should know at the back of his or her mind that God gave him or her the opportunity to serve humanity.
He further warned that any attempt to derail the welfare of the people will not be acceptable by the masses, that and even God Almighty would not be please with such leaders.
He added that the social and economic chasm between the leaders and the masses is one of the root causes of the cataclysmic chaos and anarchy that have characterised the Niger Delta.
The unarguably nettled Chief Bobo argued that Nigeria has enough resources and potential to engage the youths in mechanised Agriculture which is a good take off point for any nation which truly desire industrialisation.
Against the foregoing backdrop, he advised leaders in political position to try their best in diffusing the literary keg of gun power on which the country is sitting at the moment.
The elder statesman, in a proverbial manner, stressed the need for leaders of various ethnic nationalities in the Niger Delta region to remember that when the rain is going to fall, it will fall on every man’s roof, hence there is folly in standing aloof to look according to Bob Marley the late king of Reggae.
He continued: “In the light of the above, we all should understand that the problem of the Ijaws is the same as the problem of the Isekiris, the Urhobo, the Isokos, and other ethnic groups in the region, buttressing his view that it is the same ecosystem, one demography, one topography and one God, who is invariably the maker of all things, and who put everyone together in his infinite wisdom, and has the higher and superior insight to the thoughts of men that people in the region have in common.
He maintained that it is necessary for everybody to come together to use every legitimate means possible to vote out selfish political leaders who are not attracting development to the region in the ongoing democratic dispensation in the country.
Still harping on the need to ensure that Nigeria is made a better place than it was met by present crop of political leaders in the region, he said, “The way forward is progressive democracy which emphasises onward geometric growth and development in all ramifications”.
He affirmed that anything short of the foregoing apothegm is a straight sure road to futility as all earlier attempts made under the atmosphere of distrust have been counterproductive. Ostensibly to stir the collective conscience of the leaders, he recalled the encounter of the former Director of Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission, Patrick Lumumba, who in February 2020 asked members of Nigeria’s House of Representatives to determine whether they are “Honourable or horrible members” of the National Assembly.
He added that there was need for people to always mirror their lives with the Greek saying that has it that there are three classes of people in every society; namely, the idiots, the tribesmen and the citizens.
Unarguably clarifying the classical saying, he said, “The idiots are people who don’t care about what is going on in their country or society while the tribesmen are people who look at things from the point of view of their tribe, saying that they believe only if someone is affiliated to their tribe. He clarified further, “When the Greeks talk about tribe they also include religion.”
He pointed out that it is very terrible to have a tribesman as a leader because he will corrupt the rest of his kiths and kins, and lamented that a great number of Nigerians are tribesmen, hence they trust only people from their tribe, and noted that it is a phenomenon that has dealt a fatal blow on the national polity.
Chief Bobo in the wisdom of the Greeks advised Niger Delta leaders, in particular and Nigerians in general, to emulate the third group of people; the citizens who like to do things the right way accordingly. He said, the citizens respect and obey the law; they respect traffic light even if no one is watching, they don’t cheat in examinations, they are averse to stealing government money, and they are compassionate and give to others for the betterment of their wellbeing.
The elder statesman averred in his conclusion that Nigerians, particularly the Niger Delta leaders, must take deliberate steps to become citizens so that Project Nigeria will not fail.