The National Youths Council of Nigeria has identified institutional failure as the bane of sustainable peace and development in the country and in particular, the Niger Delta region.
The Chairman of the council in Akwa Ibom State, Theodore Williams, stated this on Monday while speaking on the topic, “Gaps and challenges of sustainable Peace and Security” during the Niger Delta Regional Peace Building Strategy Implementation Town Hall meeting held in Uyo, the state capital.
The meeting was organised by the Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in Niger Delta in collaboration with the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.
“If you look at the policies and programmes that have been put in place to ameliorate the Niger Delta and salvage our people, there have failed and been manipulated by actors of state and non-actors. But we should be able to implement those policies.
“We have been hearing of the Ogoni clean-up, but nothing has been done about it to date, and this administration is winding up in the next 14 days from today and billions of naira have been voted for the clean-up. Who is responsible for this, who is asking the question? So, this is all evidence of institutional failure” Williams said.
Earlier, while delivering his keynote address at the occasion, the Capacity Building Manager of PIND, Dr Chukwudi Njoku, said the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, was created in 2008 as an interventionist measure to reduce the continuous agitation of the people over perceived neglect and environmental degradation due to oil and gas exploration.
While noting that the ministry is a primary vehicle for the execution of the government‘s plans and programmes for rapid socio-economic development of the region, Njoku expressed delight that the ministry had recorded considerate successes
He lamented however, the recent increase in violent agitations and general insecurity including pipeline vandalism and oil theft, adding that the federal government in response to such agitations had mandated the Ministry to develop a security framework for participatory incident reporting and strengthening of rural-urban security in the Niger Delta region.
According to him, the “non-kinetic approach seeks to bring together all critical stakeholders to a round table to brainstorm and develop a regional peacebuilding strategy for the Niger Delta region”