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‘Why Niger Delta Wallows In Poverty’



Youths from the nine states of the Niger Delta Delta region have said that perennial leadership failure is the reason why the region remained poor and underdeveloped despite trillions of naira appropriated and expended by the federal, state governments and intervention agencies.

The youths, under the aegis of the Pan Niger Delta Youth Leadership Forum (PANDLEAF) made this declaration in Warri, Delta State during the ongoing engagement by leaders of Itsekiri, Urhobo and Ijaw Youth Councils.

The president of PANDLEAF,  Hon. Richard Akinaka, while addressing the Itsekiris, Ijaws and Urhobos led by Comrade Agbateyiniro Weyinmi, Comrade Eric Omare and Comrade Festus Igherebuo respectively, said that the essence of the exercise is to instill a renewed sense of responsibility among the youths.

Akinaka noted that after years of budgeting and deploying trillions of naira through states and intervention agencies, and federal government, the region has nothing to show for the huge budgetary appropriations.  He said, “For instance, after the first two to three years of the establishment of the NDDC, the agency has perpetually become an instrument in the hands of those who control Abuja from the region to finance elections.”

He said the problem of the region is that of perennial leadership failure.

“We are embarking on this engagement with ethnic youth leaders to instill a renew sense of responsibility to peace, harmony and common development. We are here to talk to ourselves to promote ethnic harmony, peace as a generation to advance a common, economic, political and social agenda through objective political participation of youths,” he added.

While stressing the need for peace amongst the various ethnic groups in the region, he said language which “seems to be the defining instrument of our differences is just a mere tool of communication and must not be allowed to divide the people.”

He told the gathering that though militancy activities in the past were intended to secure attention to the marginalization of the region by the federal government and the multinationals, that phase caused “us more woes as it led to the relocation of economic activities to the west”.