Ethnicity, bane of Nigeria’s development –Okowa
Ben Dunno, Warri
Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has identified the federal character system and ethnic sentiments by the political class as major impediments to the growth of the nation.
The governor made the submission during a one-day summit on Niger Delta Peace and Security, organised by Revive Africa Initiative, in Koko, the headquarters of Warri North Local Government Area at the weekend.
Okowa said until the nation is able to live above ethnic sentiments, especially in the style of governance, “then we may not experience any significant growth as a people.”
Governor Okowa, who was represented by his Executive Assistant, Directorate of Orientation, Eugene Uzum, also attributed parts of the problems that had contributed to the nation’s stagnation to hate speeches.
While calling on all Nigerians to begin to see themselves as one irrespective of political, religion or ethnic sentiments to be able to build a virile nation, the governor described the Niger Delta region as a wounded territory that needed to be handled with utmost care.
“The way forward for the security agencies to ensure peace in the Niger Delta region is for the operatives to be highly professional in their dealings with the people, as this would promote mutual trust and confidence on both sides,” he said.
The communique issued at the end of the summit suggested how peace can be realised: “Speedy implementation of the Ogoni clean up, review of activities of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and total overhaul with immediate effect, as the NDDC has failed to meet up with the mandate of developing the region.
“The immediate reopening of sea ports in Niger Delta region to open up the area for economic viability and to address gas flaring and environmental pollution caused by activities of oil companies in the region.
“To urgently tackle the issues of armed Fulani herdsmen and bandits proliferation across the region which has claimed many lives.”