former Senator representing Rivers South-East district in the National Assembly, Magnus Ngei Abe, has blamed the insincerity of the political leadership for insecurity in the Niger Delta region.
Abe disclosed this at the weekend in Port Harcourt, while speaking at the 2019 Niger Delta CEOs Summit, with the theme: “Economic Revitalization for Sustainable Development.”
“The second scenario I will point out, about the issue of insecurity in the Niger Delta, is to say that insecurity in this region started out of the the insincerity of the political leadership.
“It is sustained in large part by political leaders who are determined to control the rest of us by all means fair and foul, and so, they sponsor and protect violent youths to over or intimidate the rest of us and control the political space.” Abe addd.
The former Senator expressed shock over the refusal of the Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Professor Nelson Brambraifa, to attend the summit.
Abe said: “And I was shocked and stunned beyond words, because I know about the Niger Delta CEO submits, it predates any issues in the NDDC and I have also seen the flyers and I couldn’t see anything remotely resembling what I was hearing and seeing here with what I knew the situation to be.
“So I put a call through to one of the organizers and he said to me that this was because, “The Managing Director was not politically comfortable with some of the persons invited here and I asked myself; how can we develop the Niger Delta with this kind of thinking”?
“How can we? I mean if you didn’t want to attend, you could quietly stay away. I was planning to quietly stay away. You could send somebody to represent you. If they asked you for sponsorship or for support and you didn’t want to give the support, it is your prerogative.
“You have been giving money to people in all sorts of empowerment schemes that empowers nobody. But in something like this, this is your response to it. And when I heard that, I said, I will not only come here; you heard him when he was talking, you was being diplomatic about some of the challenges they faced.
“I fortunately don’t have to be that diplomatic. I can’t say exactly what is on my mind. And I said I will come here and condemn that kind of behavior.
“It does not help the Niger Delta. We should have the courage to say what is right and insist that the right things be done. So that is the first thing I will say.”
The former chairman, Senate Committee on FERMA, urged the CEOs to join to make politics in the region right in order to prevent politicians from using government to mess up their business.
Abe said: “You cannot sit here as CEOs and pretend that what happens in politics will not affect your business, because at the end of the day, if you don’t get the politics right every other thing will be wrong, because they will simply use the government to mess up your business.
“So people sponsor these youths to control the political space. I’m not exempting any politician from this practice.
“Let all political leaders commit to the principle that they will not send their followers on any errant or mission that they themselves will not undertake and to which they will not send their own children.
“Politics is one of the root causes of insecurity, if you doubt me, simply look at the level of violence in the Niger Delta on Election Day and during electioneering campaigns.
“We cannot armed boys, feed them, instigate violence during elections and then after the elections we begin to talk and pretend that we do not know what is going on or when the society begins to fall apart, we act as if we don’t know what is at the bottom of it.
“If we take violence out of our politics, violence in the society will reduce to manageable proportions. There is violence everywhere in the world, but violence can only spiral out of proportion when it is state sponsored or state tolerated.”