A member representing Nigeria at the Economic and Social Council of the United Nation, ECOSOC, Barr. John Ebokpo, of Obubra/Etung Federal Constituency, Cross Rivers State, has lamented that despite the role of his constituency in resolving the Niger Delta agitation, the area is yet to benefit anything from the government
The House of Representatives aspirant, in a chat with DAILY POST in Abuja, said for the fact that his constituency has not benefited from the amnesty and other benefits attached to the laying down of arms by militants and agitators in the region, there is the need to ‘’position ourselves to be able to access the benefits of being part of the Niger Delta.’’
He said it was his local government that made it possible for the Nigerian government to receive the agitators where it had a one-on-one dialogue with the youths.
Ebokpo said, “Agitators were in my local government for as long as the government wanted them to be there, as far as the program lasted and they were all empowered.’’
He questioned why the local government since then has not benefited anything from the government even after the agitators had given up their arms and Niger Delta returned to the path of peace.
‘’What has the local government or constituency benefited? Nothing. We could remember what was happening and how these agitators were killing and blowing off pipelines, causing economic havoc but it was our constituency, my local government that was able to house them for the government to be able to interface with them, provide them succor, and most of them went on sponsorship by the federal government.
“But what has happened to the local government? What has happened to the constituency? The constituency also needs to feel the impact of the Niger Delta. It’s not just coming to put street lights that are not really working but also to be able to impact the lives of the people.
“We have so many untarred roads in my constituency, no steady power supply, we can go for two weeks, three weeks without power; one month without power; water supply is a luxury.
“We don’t have water. The people are living in total abandonment. This is the pitiable and sorry state of the constituency and until we come together, we partner, we lobby other stakeholders, companies, government, and agencies to see how these people can also benefit from the dividends of democracy, things will remain the same.’’
“I believe that people should be given the opportunity to prove their worth and Honourable Mike Etaba, the current member representing the constituency has done two terms now and he has done well to the best of his capacity and capability.
“I cannot fault him politically, but I can only say, he has done his best to the best of his ability. Are there things that he would have done differently? Yes.
“Were there ways he would have lobbied more for the constituency? Yes. Are there also several other things he would have done for the constituency for a better life? Yes. For Honourable Mike, he has done his bid and I feel it is better to leave the stage when the ovation is still high and allow someone else to step in,” he said.