The paramount ruler of Siembiri Kingdom, Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State, Charles Ayemi Botu, has chided President Muhammadu Buhari and Godswill Akpabio, Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, over what he called ‘despicable, pitiable and unhealthy state of Nigeria as a nation, particularly the Niger Delta Region’.
Speaking on Sunday during a thanksgiving service at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, Okpokunou, in commemoration of his 73rd birthday and 27th coronation anniversary, the traditional ruler, who attributed the state of the nation and the region to massive corruption at both federal and state levels, called on well-meaning Nigerians to rise up and speak out against the current of state of things.
King Ayemi-Botu, fondly addressed as ‘Lion of the Niger’, said, “President Muhammadu Buhari and Chief Godswill Akpabio are making a mockery of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC. The state of our beloved country, especially the Niger Delta region should be of great concern to every well-meaning Nigerian.
“The problem was caused by massive corruption, avarice, nepotism, winner-takes-all syndrome, bigotry and ethno-religious dimension, that is being perpetrated by political leaders both at federal and state government levels to their selfish ends and at the detriment of those who elected them. For NDDC, it is unfortunate that Mr. President decided to allow Akpabio to be messing up with the interventionist agency. Unhealthy politics has enveloped the commission.”
The first-class Ijaw monarch, while noting that Nigeria should not be seen to be better off in the hands of the colonial masters than its citizens, called for a better deal for Nigerians, especially the people of Niger Delta region as the region, which is responsible for the bulk of the country’s Gross Domestic Product through its oil reserves.
The monarch, a former National Chairman of the Traditional Rulers Of Oil Mineral Producing Communities of Nigeria (TROMPCOM), stressed that there must be concerted effort to right the wrongs of the past as well as massive human and infrastructural development across the country, most especially the oil producing communities.
He appealed to both the federal and state governments to pursue policies and programmes that would improve the living standards of Nigerians.
The monarch, who said he was touched by what he described as total negligence of the people, called for proper development of the Niger Delta region to cover for the environmental degradation being suffered in the area as a result of oil exploration and exploitation.