Jul 10, 2012

Ogoni: To Tackle Security Challenges Poverty Has To Be Addressed

The former president of the MOSOP, Ledum Mitee, stated that utilizing the community level interest in peace and development will be a counter balance for militants and criminality. 

Below is an article published by The Nation:

The Federal Government amnesty programme in the Niger Delta is not the solution to the problem in the region, the former President of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP),  Ledum Mitee, said yesterday [9.7.2012].

Mitee, who identified injustice as the cause of the country’s insecurity, said what the people need is safe livelihood.

The ex-MOSOP president spoke at a lecture organised by the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan, in collaboration with the Society for Peace Studies and Practice.

In his lecture entitled : “Issues and Challenges of the Niger Delta Amnesty Programme: An Insider Perspective”, Mitee said until the country  attends to injustice,  security will continue to be a mirage.

According to him, the problem of the region should not be seen as a Niger Delta problem, but rather a Nigerian problem. 

He said: “For a country like ours that has a serious crisis in the region that provides over 90 per cent of its economic livewire, this is akin to a person with a heart problem.

“Any person who has critical health problems in his heart will be doing himself fatal injustice by localising the categorisation.”

According to Mitee, utilising the community level interest in peace and development will be a counter balance for militants and criminality.

“If the communities do not derive any benefits from the exploitation of the resources from their land, then they would obviously feel insecure and their insecurity will invariable compromise the security of the resource exploitation.

“We made recommendations that would enable communities eke some benefits from the resources exploited from their land.

The Institute’s Director, Prof Isaac Albert, said until the government addresses the issue of unemployment and poverty, the country will continue to witness security challenges.  

Also speaking, former VC Prof Tekena Tamuno, urged the Federal Government to adopt more proactive measures to tackle challenges of the programme and other security problems rocking the nation.