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N’Delta crisis: Northern leaders unfair – David-West

Posted by By YINKA FABOWALE, Ibadan on 2008/07/18 | Views: 2167 |

N’Delta crisis: Northern leaders unfair – David-West


The insentivity and mindsets of compatriots from other geo-political zones to denigrate the Niger Delta people is the greatest obstacle in the way of swift and peaceful resolution of the crisis in the region.

The insentivity and mindsets of compatriots from other geo-political zones to denigrate the Niger Delta people is the greatest obstacle in the way of swift and peaceful resolution of the crisis in the region.

Former oil Minister and Professor of Virology Tam David-West made this observation, while reacting to perceived condescending statements by eminent Northern politician, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai on the Niger Delta question.

Yakassai was reported as blaming leaders of the oil rich region for its continued problems of under-development even as he chided the people of the zone for claiming exclusive ownership of petroleum resources in its bowel. To him, the oil belonged to the Nigerian federation.

But David-West, who recalled having had a media altercation with Yakassai on the same subject in 1994, regretted that the renowned defender of Northern interests still harboured such mindset till date.
“He is still living in the old. It is very unfortunate if after about 30 years, he still has that mentality of dictatorship as if the Niger Delta is a colony. It is the most irresponsible posture and this attitude by Tanko Yakassai and others only add salt to injury, because they have not shown any empathy towards the Niger Delta people,” former minister said.

According to David-West, the North, which now laid collective claim to oil, would have forgotten about the belonging to the Nigerian federation, if the money-spinning resource had been domiciled in its region.
He also reasoned that, “if the oil belongs to everybody by law as asset as Yakassai claimed, Nigeria should also be ready to accept the liability which in this case are the deprivations suffered by the Niger Delta,” adding “the equation is not balance at all.”

David-West said the deep resentment by the Niger Delta against perceived exploitative Nigerian state was not only economic but psychological, noting that hawks like Yakassai, Maitama Sule and Jubril Aminu, were not helping matters with their utterances and posturing. “Except you break that psychological mould, the quest for peace would only be a pipe dream,” he said.

Going down memory lane, David-West decried statements, which made the South-South inconsequential and no threat to the economy of this nation, asking, rhetorically “are all these right? Is there a conducive psychological climate to negotiate?
“Turn-after-turn, they say we don’t exist. But they should be made aware that not strong words but soft words win the game.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.