Infrastructural Development, massive employment generation and solving our ecological problems can stop the persistent agitations in the Niger Delta- High Chief Kaine

High Chief Elvis Eneduwe Kaine is very prominent in peace building roles in Ndokwa land and his successes in this regard is

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Infrastructural Development, massive employment generation and solving our ecological problems can stop the persistent agitations in the Niger Delta-  High Chief Kaine
High Chief Elvis Eneduwe Kaine

High Chief Elvis Eneduwe Kaine is very prominent in peace building roles in Ndokwa land and his successes in this regard is enviable and laudable. Specifically, his roles in the cessation of hostilities between many warring communities as well as arbitrating in the internal crisis within Ndokwa Communities, sets him as a dramatis personae of conflict resolution and peace building.

In this exclusive media chat with Our Delta North Correspondent, Ameachi Inneh in Kwale, Ndokwa West Local Government Area, High Chief Kaine Elvis, holder of the prestigious “Ogbuiji” traditional title of Utagba Uno in Ndokwa West LGA, Delta State and a graduate of Agricultural Economics from the Premier University (University of Ibadan) and who also has certificates in conflict and crisis management, public relations, leadership and supervisory management amongst others, spoke on solutions to Niger Delta crisis, panacea for development of Ndokwa nation as well as his patriotic zeal in furthering the interests of Ndokwa nation, in spite of his bitterness about the Saturday, May 28th 2016, Ndokwa Neku Union, NNU elections where observers and the generality of Ndokwa people confirmed that the stage was hijacked and the voters disenfranchised in order to deny him victory that would have made him emerge as President General of Ndokwa Nation.

It is no longer news that the Ndokwa Neku Union elections have come and gone in spite of the outcome wherein you were said to have been robbed off your victory through disenfranchising your teaming supporters that were there and would have voted for you, do you still have the interest in doing those things that you are known for, considering the approach adopted in that election?

Well, everybody saw what happened in Kwale Township Stadium during the NNU election and I know that the structure we have today is not what the generality of Ndokwa people desired or wished to have. Ordinarily, I would have decided to withdraw into my shells  but I wont because it was the known enemies of Ndokwa Nation that fought me and the good Ndokwa people. What I suffered during that election, rather than demoralise me, strenghtened me and broadened my view and will surely prepare the ACTOR for the last fight with the Boss. So, I am still doing and by the grace of God, will continue to do all that I have been doing before the election since I am happy doing them and my God is also happy with me.

In an earlier interview, you decried the lack of development in Ndokwa nation considering its resource contribution to our dear country. Do you still share this view point?

From that time of the election till now, nothing has actually happened and of course, it is also quite a short period. It is by miracle as no right thinking man would have expected the area to be transformed within three months. It is therefore still visibly clear that the area is underdeveloped and sidelined.

What then can be done to remedy the situation?

Ndokwa (my) people  need to embrace President Mohammadu Buhari's present change slogan. We need to transform ourselves before Ndokwa can be transformed. We are already putting up structures for this purpose. The society is so complex, more or less like the animal kingdom where the slogan is "Survival of the fittest”. Our people need to be reawakened to this fact and our representatives in Government need to be brought to speed to know what it takes to represent the people, as effective representation ensures that the desired amenities and services are provided for the people and not just organizing a group of folks, giving them welfare packages and calling it “:empowerment”. Our political office holders have to be made to know the difference between attracting development projects to the entire nation which is their primary responsibility and assisting or helping their family members, friends and political associates. Our people need to align their self-help projects with the Government's projects and programs in order to get necessary support from the various parastatals. Our people need to know that development projects are first captured and approved in annual budget before contracts can be awarded and this means that knowing the time for the submission/presentation and defense of budget proposal is absolutely necessary. It is important to note that, if we continue to feature a mediocre to represent us and continue to act like those in the kingdom of periwinkles, Ndokwa Nation will continue to be marginalized.

Looking at the protracted crisis in the Niger Delta, what approach do you think will bring an end to agitations in the region?

Agitation in the Niger Delta did not start today and I do not think that anybody will indulge in any form of agitation if everything is in order. Agitation is as a result of lack, maltreatment, marginalization and suffering. It is always difficult to handle agitations because the root cause must be addressed before you can say that you have successfully addressed the issue. In this case, we are talking of a man that does not have food to eat, good water to drink, good road to his village, a good house to live in, a car for convenience and comfort and a man that is unemployed but he goes out and sees people enjoying their lives. We are talking of a man who desires to marry and if he manages to marry and have children, he will not be able to train any of them to a desirable level. This is why it is difficult to handle the Niger Delta agitations. And the people that have been attempting to address the agitations don’t go to the agitators to feel their pains and know their priorities. They don’t even know where they live.
If you must address the problem of the people, you first carry out the village case study to know where the people are, why are they where they are, what to be done to move them from where they are and to which level and the stages that you must follow. It is not just enough to call a group of people, negotiate and start paying them monthly stipends without addressing the ecological and developmental issues that they are confronted with. More than half of the Niger Delta Communities are not connected with motor able roads and where they exist in most cases, a journey that would have taken less than Ten minutes, can take more than six hours. For instance, from Aboh to Ndoni, both in the old Aboh Division cannot take more than two minutes by car if there were to be a link road but to access the two places by road, one travels for about Six hours from one village to the other. This is how it is in so many Niger Delta Communities. In so many cases, there is no road at all hence a man can have a car but cannot drive to his village. Bayelsa State for instance is far worse than Delta State as most of the movement are by canoes and speedboats since there are no roads whereas, in Lagos State in the same country, a city is emerging at the atlantic. This is why nobody can say that due to bad terrains, the area cannot be developed. So the summary is that the approach to be adopted to effectively address the Niger Delta issue which is developing the people and the communities, is not by paying peanuts to the people as this approach is just to temporarily buy peace. The people you pay today to stop agitations, have younger ones that will still come up to continue the struggle as the problems are yet to be solved. To solve the Niger Delta problems therefore, requires that the Government embarks on infrastructural development, massive employment generation through establishment of industries as well as solving the ecological problems that are threatening the continued existence of the people.

What is the role of the “Ogbuiji” title?

First, let me inform you that “Iji” in my dialect means yam and literarily, “Ogbuiji” is the yam grower/producer. In this part of the country, yam is regarded as the king of all crops and it takes a lot to cultivate it. As the king of all crops, if a man is able to grow enough of it to feed his family, extended relations, friends and other members of the society, he is regarded as a man of valour. The man is therefore regarded like a king that provides for and protects his people. So, the title is bestowed on those that have the qualities to fight for and protect their people and also provide for the needy. From the foregoing, you can deduce the roles of the title holder and why members of the ORDER are highly respected and I do not think that there is any man in his right senses that does not respect the man that provides for and protects him.

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