By James Ezema
LAGOS – An independent survey by a Lagos-based research and marketing firm, RMS Limited, has shown that a majority of Nigerians believe that the Niger Delta people are marginalised even as loss of revenue from reduced crude oil output, scaring of potential investors and lack of infrastructural development were mentioned as the key effects the conflict the country is bearing.
According to the result of the survey, the majority of the respondents said the military action by the Joint Task Force (JTF) was justified. The view, the survey shows, was more prominent in Maiduguri, Kano and Port Harcourt.
It said: â€œA majority of respondents (55%), were aware of the recent Joint Task Force (JTF) military action in the Niger Delta. Awareness is highest among respondents in SEC ABC1C2 in Abuja and Port Harcourt. Awareness is lowest in Maiduguri.
â€œWhen asked about how Nigeria is being viewed outside its borders about the military action in the Niger Delta, 25% of the respondents said the country was being viewed as infringing on human rights, another 25% said the country would be viewed as trying to restore sanity in the region, while 20% thought the country would be viewed as a country that does not respect the rule of law.
Continuing, the survey noted that â€œ53% of respondents mainly in Port Harcourt and Enugu believe people in the Niger Delta are being marginalized,Â 32% of respondents said they are not confident with the role of the Niger Delta Development Commission, while 24% said they were confident the body was working flat out to bring meaningful development to the region.
â€œAsked about how the crisis in the region could be solved, a majority of respondents had this to say:Â ”Create employment opportunities for the local youths.â€
The respondents urged the government to â€œensure equitable distribution of oil proceeds with indigenes, provide basic amenities (drinking water, schools, electricity, clinics, hospitals and roads)â€ and â€œengage local indigenes in dialogue in a transparent manner.â€