Emulate Southwest - Evah urges Niger Delta


Ijaw Monitoring Group (IMG) Co-ordinator Comrade Joseph Evah has said except the Niger Delta people emulate their counterparts in the South-west it will be difficult to forge ahead in the nation's political equation.

He told The Nation that if not for the machinations of the other regions or zones that were dragging the South-west backward, it would be competing with countries like Malasia, Singapore and Korea.

Evah who bemoaned leadership ineptitude in the Niger Delta, recently led about 150 students of tertiary institutions to tour Ghana, where they had the ample opportunity of studying the legacy of Kwame Nkrumah and other eminent political gladiators from Ghana which the people of South-west Nigeria can boast of.
"I was in Ghana recently; we decided to tour Ghana with some Niger Delta students because our problem in the Niger Delta is leadership. We want to produce leaders like those of the South-west. Mind you before the South-west could produce the kind of leaders they have, it involved lots of painstaking. We don't have those who can adequately fit into the position our compatriot in the South-west."

According to him, a nation without good leaders cannot make progress no matter the resources of wealth it is endowed with. If for instance our oil dries up today this marriage called will automatically end. After all, Korea, Malaysia and Singapore don't have oil yet they are making waves in the world.

"That is why we are not moving forward in terms of development and that why local government areas no council chairman in our areas don't give bursary to students. When you go to the Yoruba areas the council chairmen present their work to the people. If you go to our areas the National or State Assemblies members don't present their programme to the people, so we have problem of leadership that is why billions of naira that are pumped into the region have not manifest."

The people don't even know why they are leaders; we produce emergency leaders in the Niger Delta. If we continue like this our children will suffer in the next 50 years, so we decided to borrow a leaf from what the Yoruba. We had to tour Ghana because it suffered in the late 70s and early 80s. Ghanaians were roaming about in Nigeria and other African countries. That was why I had to take over 150 students to tour universities in Ghana, visited some of their personalities."

He stressed that if not for their prayers, some forces wanted to manipulate the president in order to take charge. "It is our deliverance service that is still keeping the president alive, if not Jonathan is no more. I mobilised Niger Delta students to strom Abuja then he was the Vice President when a lot of people were harassing him. Yar'Adua was alive people were harassing him as if he has nobody. All the governors were not going to him; some forces have manipulated the governors to the extent that he was ignored. Nobody was interested in him, people were manipulating the villa, they treated him as if he was a houseboy and we had to mobilised through prayers and change the situation for him."

Evah said: "We are urging our son to work harder for the Nigerian people because he is entitled to another term. If he works very hard and convincingly to the interests of Nigerians, we won't have any problem. People will say since others have gone for second term let this man who has worked so hard go for a second term."

In fact the people will not even bother about where Jonathan comes from, that is why we are interested in his projects, he must ensure that electricity is 100 per cent, reduce unemployment. We are really disturbing our son not to fail the nation now that we are in the saddle, we are fasting and praying for him. That he should bring back that period when he was popular as acting president."

On the purported adoption of President Jonathan by the South South Peoples Assembly, he said all the South South could not have adopted him. "I am not a Peoples Democratic Party member, all the South-south people are not all in PDP, not even with the fact that I am not in any of the political parties. If PDP people gather it is a different ball game entirely but if the South-south leaders gather to tell our son what is missing it is better. They are supposed sit down to tell our son what is missing in the region, they are supposed to tell him not to waste our time and how best to tackle problems in the country."

He said the President who had not fully regain his popularity following the hike in fuel price this year, would be taking another unpopular path if he went ahead with the N5,000 note, one of the method which those who don't want him to continue have devised to stall his 2015 bid.


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