FOR comparing the IraqÂ situation to the Nigerian Niger Delta, Senate president, Senator David Mark, has been described as lacking adequate knowledge of the situation in the country and showingÂ insensitivity to the plight of â€˜an oppressed minorityâ€™.
An industrialist, Dr. Ime Umanah, said on Friday that the Senate presidentâ€™s reaction to visiting American secretary of state, Mrs. Hilary Clintonâ€™s spot on analysis of the problems bedevilling Nigeria, particularly the Niger Delta crisis, electoral and financial corruption, smacked of prejudice and shamelessness. According to him, such undiplomatic utterance from the nationâ€™s number three citizen was unstatesmanlike and an embarrassment to the nationâ€™s Senate which would only prolong the crisis in the Niger Delta, adding: â€œWe cannot claim to be sensitive to the plight of Nigerians by pretending that all is well with us. We should learn to admit fault where we have gone wrong and not wait until this is pointed out to us from foreign lands.â€
Umanah noted that if the Senate president had ever visited the Niger Delta or if he had a good understanding of the deprivation the Niger Delta people had been subjected to, he would not have compared the region to Iraq by saying that if foreign intervention had failed in Iraq, how then would it work in the oil rich region of Niger Delta?
He said: â€œWhat is required in the Niger Delta is not what the present political leadership seems to be able to offer, going by the thinking of the Senate president. What is required is a â€˜Marshal Planâ€™ involving international agencies, where necessary, such as the United Nations.”