By Emma Amaize
WARRIâ€”IZON-EBE Oil Producing Communities Forum (IOPCM) has said the disqualification of Nigeria by the United Nations from its bid for a membership seat in the United Nations Security Council was in order, given the countryâ€™s incompetence in handling its own internal security challenges and complexities, particularly in the Niger-Delta.
The group in a press statement jointly signed by its president and secretary general, Chief Favour Izoukumor and Moses Edougha yesterday queried, â€œhow could Nigeria have bidded to be granted a seat in the UN Security Council when her government, whose primary function is to guarantee peace and security and cater for the welfare of its citizenry in a just and fair manner, is yet to guarantee for herself peace and security in her own internal existence?
â€œThe Niger Delta, aÂ Â political zone in Nigeria, has been a reference point in the world, experiencing insecurities from the on-set when oil was discovered in Oloibiri in Bayelsa State. The worst form of this insecurity was climaxed in 1996/97, generating from Warri crises to Kaiama declaration in 1998 and to the present situation.
â€œThis insecurity and social unrest have been as a result of political neglect, economic exploitation and marginalization, environmental degradation and others.
And it was these that forced the people out of frustration to adopt diverse forms of struggle, including violence exhibited in the forms of vandalization of oil pipelines and facilities, kidnapping of oil workers, hostage taking and engaging in a military warfare with the military deployed to protect oil facilities.
â€œThese activities spread so fast that the international community in which Nigeria bid to be a member of the Security Council is aware, as lots of their members were victims.
Instead of the Nigerian government to be proactive and calculative enough to put in place corrective and preventive measures aimed at solving the problems from the onset when they were surfacing, it was ignored and allowed it to escalate to this present level.â€
According to the group, â€œit is not only in the Niger Delta,Â Nigerian government has not been able to bring about peace and security in other parts of the country; South-West, South-East and North East and North West regions.Â All these regions today,Â as we write,Â witness one form of insecurity or the other, includingÂ kidnapping, etc.
â€œRidiculously, the most recent insecurity event in the North that amuse more than it annoyed us is the mysterious landing of the Ukrainian plan at the Kano airport, loaded with ammunitions and other things purported to have being going to Equatorial Guinea following technical problems.Â Â Nigeria has also failed to find out the source of the ammunitions circulating in the country.â€.