President Umaru Musa Yaradua (his blessed memory) obviously saw the level of Environmental degradation and protracted infrastructural decay in the Niger Delta region and poised to make a difference in that region that lays the golden egg as 97% of the Nation’s earnings emanates from this long abandoned region, decided in his wisdom to create the Ministry of Niger Delta Affaires (MNDA). This is clearly aimed at fast tracking the development of this region which past administrations have neglected over time.
Now the decision on who is competent to man this ministry as a pioneer determined to stir the affairs of the ministry for the ultimate goal of a result oriented and actualized mission of the late President came up. Umaru Musa Yaradua has a Masters degree in Chemistry and as a Chemist with an analytical mind and convinced that he will make the desired difference, came up with the choice of Elder Godsday Orubebe based on his pedigree and profile of achievements.
Elder Orubebe never wasted time either, he landed running. He pioneered the re-design and dualization of the East-West Road to accommodate bridges etc. because of the peculiar terrain and soil texture of the Niger Delta region, resuscitation of ailing and moribund firms in the region among other innovations aimed at opening the region to other commercial and social activities, he created the skill acquisition centres, initiated the Canalization/River Training at Foupolo Bulou Ndoro Creek, Canalization at Odoubou Ogbabagbene which is expected to open up the region connecting to the lake to boost tourist attraction with its biannual fishing festival synonymous to the Arugungu festival among others. Following the land degradation as a result of oil exploration and exploitation, Elder Orubebe also commenced the Land Reclamation/Shoreline Protection Project at Ogbobagbene in Burutu LGA of Delta State.
Literarily, one would hail the acumen of ideas from this vibrant young man, determined to make a difference in the lives of Niger Delta people by creating and embarking on projects that have direct bearings in the lives and aspirations of his people. But there is a lacuna and this lacuna is in the realities on ground as it affects budgetary allocation even among competing ministries yearning for attention in all sectors of the Nation. Apart from the individuals in the National Assembly who deliberately stave the Ministry of proper funding, there is this challenge of fund release by the Ministry of Finance even after budgetary allocation has been made. In other words, the fund of any particular Ministry could be withheld even after proper budgetary allocation has been made by the National Assembly.
The people of Niger Delta do not understand any of this power play, all they need is result. The need for rapid development having suffered neglected for too long is paramount. Elder Orubebe on his part has cried out openly in a Federal Executive Council Meeting (FEC) that the Ministry needs proper funding to actualize its goals of quality service delivery to his people. This cry as true as it is has obviously opened up a new page on the realities and facts on ground. There is a deliberate calculation by some individuals to frustrate the actualization of these laudable projects pioneered by Elder Orubebe in the Niger Delta region.
The earnest and genuine intensions of the Minister are strangulated. The Minister is held in the crossfire. Niger Delta people have a legitimate and genuine quest for an accelerated development and the deliberate determination by some cabal in the National Assembly to truncate the Minister’s ideas and effort to actualize this for rapid development by starving the Ministry of fund. In the other dimension, some disgruntled element who play the role of undertakers, take due advantage of the situation, determined to discredit the Minister, orchestrate and sponsor all manner of cheap and unfounded blackmail targeted at mutilating the image of Elder Orubebe, portray him in bad light, subject him to ridicule and heap the blame of lack of fund on him. Sadly enough, Elder Orubebe is not responsible for budgetary allocation.
These undertakers would stop at nothing to ill inform and misinform the people of the region as well as Nigerians on the true situation as obtainable in the power play in the National Assembly as it affects the MNDA. But in all these, the Minister, humble as a lamb has remained focussed and undaunted. Although it’s not yet UHURU, he is determined to deliver his well articulated programmes to his people most expediently and in a most dogged manner as the case may be. It is therefore pertinent to bring this issue in its true and proper perspective. Elder Godsday Orubebe: the sacrificial lamb…
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