‘Why Buhari should consider Isokoland for cabinet appointment’
The Isoko Nation, strategically located in Delta and Bayelsa states, has been suffering diverse injustice and marginalization at the Federal and states levels.
Although, the ethnic nationality is a vital part of the Niger Delta as the nation’s largest producer/contributor of onshore crude oil to the nation’s capital, the good people of Isoko land have been relegated to the back seat in terms of employment, appointments, development, empowerment and the like.
As a people, the ethnic group is pleading with President Muhammadu Buhari to consider a descendant of the Isoko nation whenever there is need for cabinet reshuffle to at least compensate the them for their peaceful disposition towards multinational corporations operating on the Isoko territory and for not resorting to violence against the national assets that are accommodated in the land, irrespective of the obvious neglect and marginalisation in all federal and state governments infrastructural and human capital developmental programmes.
Despite the uninterrupted flow of crude oil and natural gas from seven seven oil fields in Oml 26 and 30, covering an area of about 2.15sq/km of landmass and an average production of about 300,000bpd per day, there is nothing to show that the country acknowledges that the area is not just part of Nigeria but contributes meaningfully to the national treasury.
The exploration of crude oil in Isoko land for approximately five decades has destroyed the ecosystem, leaving the inhabitants who are predominantly farmers in a Delta and Bayelsa states wallow in abject poverty.
Even when successive governments have refused to make any serious commitment to ameliorate the sufferings of the peace-loving Isoko people or put measures in place to cleanse the land, which has been degraded and reduced to nothing by continuous oil spillages, the people still have not picked up arms against the government or indulge in sabotage of Federal government installations.
The fact that the Isoko nation has been very peaceful, especially when oil installations in other parts of the country are being vandalized by avengers, saboteurs and illegal oil bunkers, is enough to begin to take the Isoko people seriously.
More worrisome is that even in the renewed efforts of government to have meaningful engagement with the stakeholders in the Niger Delta, the Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has continued to pretend as though the Isoko do not exist.
If not, how can one explain why he has failed to pay a visit to the heart of the Isoko nation if not for anything, to thank the people for being peaceful and encourage them to continue to be peaceful so they know that the government is aware of how Isoko crude oil single handedly sustained the economy when the Niger Delta Avengers were at the peak of their activities.
It is also worthwhile to to reiterate that since the second republic till date no son or daughter of the Isoko nation either from Bayelsa or Delta state have been appointed a Federal Minister. This is rather absurd and needs to be addressed by the President Buhari administration, especially considering the fact that the Isoko people of Delta State currently have the strongest structure in the All Progressives Congress (APC).