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Don identifies challenges facing development in Niger Delta

 A Professor of Political Science, Niger Delta University, Amassoma, Prof. Ibaba Ibaba on Thursday, identified the absence of committed and patriotic followership and leadership as one

of the major challenges of development in the Niger Delta and the country in general.

He stated this at the 28th inaugural lecture of the NDU at Amassoma in Bayelsa State.

The University lecturer said unless the root causes of conflict in the region were addressed, the

quest for peace building in the area would remain a mirage.

Ibaba, whose lecture was entitled, ‘Mopping the Wet Floor While Overlooking the Leaking Roof: Rethinking Peace Building in the Niger Delta’, noted that without good governance and genuine ethical orientation, efforts to find lasting peace in the region would not be realized

He argued that social vices such as kidnapping, militancy, cult activities and other criminal activities were only symptoms of the major problem which is failure to utilize and mange resources for the well being of ordinary citizens.

He noted that while the usual narratives put the blame of the pathetic state of affairs to faulty federalism, skewed resource allocation and ethnic and tribal politics, the reality was that of a political class that dwelt on what he described ”bread and butter agenda”.

Ibaba said based on statistics, the six South-South states received over N2.5trn between 2000 and

2008, the highest by any geo-political zone, yet there was nothing to prove that the area had progressed more than others.

The Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, noted that leaders usually spent few resources on elitist, white elephant projects that have little effect on the quality of lives of the people while the rest went into private pockets.

”For lasting peace to reign, there is the dire need for self disciplined, honest and patriotic followership and leadership to mend the leaking roof rather than mop the wet floor. he said

”I want to urge the Federal Government to change its current method of snake head theory in which the leadership of some protesting groups are compromised or intimidated to a more holistic strategy of providing quality governance by using the nation’s resources to enhance the lives of the citizens.”

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