Nigeria is gravitating towards a failed state, says INC President

By Kelvin Ohoror

President of Ijaw National Congress(INC), Professor Benjamin Okaba, has lamented that Nigeria is gravitating toward a failed state due to insecurity, poor policy and the economic situation of the country.

He made this known while he was delivering a lecture titled “A Synergy of the Church, Government and the Private Sectors in the Development and Industrialization of Our Land” during the 2nd Session of the 8th Synod of the Oleh Diocese of the Anglican Communion that was held at the St. Paul Anglican Church, Ozoro, Isoko North Local Government Area of Delta State.

According to him, “The Nigeria nation from all critical indications, talking about the policy, economy, security is abysmally bankrupt in spite the huge natural and human resources God has given us. The country is progressively gravitating towards a failed state and down to anarchy and disintegration.

He added that “For us, in the Niger-Delta while we share in mass illiteracy, poverty, underdevelopment, we are particularly pained because as owners of the resources that feed the nation, we have been deprived, marginalised and treated as second-class citizens in our own country.”

Prof. Okaba said, “recently there was a Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) with the expectation that while the Niger-Delta people suffered all the damage consequences of the oil exploration, the federal government felt that 3 percent is good enough for the people of the Niger- Delta region. If you see the damage caused by oil exploration in the Niger Delta you will weep for yourself and weep for this nation.

“Recently Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC) was commercialised by the federal government to show disdain to the people of the Niger Delta, in the entire board only one person, from the South-South where the oil is sourced, was appointed member of the board. While the South-West got one person, South-East two persons, the remaining seven persons are from Northern Nigeria where oil is not produced.”

He pointed out that, “as we speak the federal government is on the verge of passing the obnoxious water resources bill, which means water will be the property of the federal government capital enterprise. To the extent that for you to seek borehole you must obtain license from the federal government.

“And if you place it on water management system it means all the water including the creeks of the Niger Delta comes under the management of the federal government. And we the Ijaws mostly leave on top of water. If you take away management and running of water from the Ijaw people, you have taken away life from them.

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“As a matter of fact only few days ago I was in the National Assembly particularly the House of Representatives to register my rejection of the bill, because what it means before you go and fish you must take permission with license from the federal government.”

The INC President assured that “The Ijaw ethnic nation will not be conquered and can never be conquered, they are creating network to take over our land and bring their cattle. I want to tell you the government is serious and desirous to pass the bill with impunity without considering what we feel.

“The Ijaw ethnic group has started deliberate sensitisation within all Ijaw land. Our environment has been trampled, I will go anywhere and say it without fear. I am not afraid.”

On how the Church can synergise with the private sector to bring development and industrialisation, Prof. Okaba said that one important thing about the church is its involvement in social service delivery. And of the major visions of evangelism by the missionaries was building of schools and hospitals to care for the well-being of the people.

He opined that the church must coexist in synergy with the government and private sector to advance humanity through technology, agriculture, education, health and manufacturing.

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