By Michael Eboh
OIL producing communities in the country, under the aegis of Host Communities of Nigeria, (Producing Oil and Gas), HOSCOM, has appealed to the Federal Government to show commitment and fast-track the development of the communities and the Niger Delta region in general. Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Women’s Wing Chapter in Abuja, National Chairman of HOSTCOM, Mrs. Tumini Akogun, also Coordinator of the newly inaugurated FCT Women’s Wing, argued that peace is a necessary ingredient for sustainable development, adding that no price is too much to pay to achieve peace.
She said that neglect contributed to the crisis currently witnessed in the region, noting that the absence of peace has undermined its development. She said: “The social, environmental, political and infrastructural problems facing the oil-producing communities has led to myriad of problems, which can be attributed to the various agitations in the region which have in effect eroded the peace of the area.
“It would not be too much to ask that the hen that lays the golden egg should be well pampered so that it can continue to lay more good eggs. The absence of peace has undermined every effort at significant development.”
She also called on traditional, religious and political leaders in the host communities to display a greater sense of responsibility and commitment to the challenges bedeviling the region.
According to her, an increased degree of transparency and probity should be applied by all the leaders in the region with respect to resources allocated to them for the development of their constituencies.
She added that, “This should be undertaken in absolute openness. More also developmental allocations should be used for the primary purpose for which they are meant for. And this should be very evident to all members of the community.
“The days of selfishness and greed by the leaders in the oil producing communities are over. We must all put the interest of our communities at the forefront and help to facilitate development and growth.”
Akogun further called on agitating youths in the Niger Delta region to show restraint and exercise a greater degree of patience with the Federal Government and their leaders, noting that the wanton destruction and bombings in the region is causing huge suffering for the host communities and the country in general.