By Joshua Williams
Francis Waive, lawmaker representing Ughelli north/Ughelli south and Udu federal constituency in the house of representatives, has called for unity among different ethnic groups in the Niger Delta region.
Addressing reporters at his constituency office, Waive said coming together will help the people of the region to forge a common front at the national level.
He said politicians are using the division among the people of Niger Delta to undermine the region.
“I believe that what we are getting now in terms of the allocation to NNDC, 13% derivation and the allocation to the states from the oil-rich region are not enough,” he said.
“It’s a far cry from what we ought to get as a people and as a region because of the environmental degradation and the effect of oil exploration of several years, but having said that, we as a people in the south-south, we need to come together as one, we need to be united because that is the only way we can fight for our right, and get what truly belongs to us.
“If we are scattered, if we are disunited, then the others will have the opportunity to take advantage of us, exploit us, use us as part to knock one another and exploit our resources.”
He cited example of how disunity has affected the completion of some projects in Warri, Delta state.
“Look at Warri for instance, it’s a sad story what this town has turned into when Warri Port was booming, you remember what this town used to be like, when there was Shell and when Shell was building that Osubi airport I believe that they had good plans in mind, not to abandon it, but look at where we are, and it’s all traceable to our inter-tribal problems and these problems do no nobody good,” he said.
“If we don’t know it, there are no tribes in the greater Warri area that will be able to alienate one another, the Urhobos, the Ijaws, the Itsekiris, we can’t eliminate one another, being together is God’s idea, and we must come together, partner one another, agree with one another, give and take, and then, we will be able to insist on our rights, otherwise, politicians will take advantage of us, the system will take advantage of us, contractors, of course, will mess us up, there is a need for unity across the Niger Delta, across the states of the South-South of this country in order to bring development to our people.”