A foremost Niger Delta activist, Ritalori Ogbebor, has alleged that leadership of the region who mismanage its resources, were responsible for the spate of underdevelopment it is experiencing.
Ogbebor made this assertion in an interactive session with newsmen in Lagos.
She was worried by the seeming lack of accountability by institutions and individuals charged with the responsibility of ameliorating the sufferings of people in the Delta.
Making reference to Delta State in particular, the activist claimed that monies accruing to the state from the 13 per cent derivative principle of the Federal Government were being siphoned by a particular group.
“One of the institutions in question is the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC),” she said.
According to her, the commission has received billions of naira from the federal government, but with very little, if any project, to show for it.
“The continuing deprivation and worsening poverty among people in the oil producing communities is traceable to the failure of DESOPADEc to fulfil the mandate for which it was founded.
“This is a pointer to the wanton corruption and mismanagement in the commission.
“There is no reason why Delta state should not be poor if it managed the 13 per cent derivative accruing to it from the federation account,” Ogbebor said.
Cont argued that even after years of oil exploration by multinational companies, the region had remains largely underdeveloped.
“Instead, the regions is experiencing widespread environmental pollution of farmlands and water ways due to oil spillage with the attendant effects being the destruction of the people’s livelihood”.
By Say Ramoni