Mr. Daniel Mayuku is a ourth-term member of the Delta State House of Assembly, representing Warri South-West Constituency. In this interview, he talks about the various wealth-creating interventions of the Delta State government and how the recurring militancy in the Niger Delta region can be permanently resolved among other issues.
By Charles Kumolu
Delta State is 25. How has the state progressed over the years?
We have doubtlessly kept the spirit of oneness, despite our heterogeneous nature; united by force of character and indivisible by the core values of integrity, hard work, candor, honour, determination, honesty and mutual respect.
Are there still challenges to be met in terms of development in the state?
That is why we are here to surmount them. That is the vision of the Okowa administration as exemplified by the S.M.A.R.T. Agenda. We don’t believe in complaining, passing the buck or playing to the gallery.
Governance is a serious business and does not succeed by mere whitewashing or populism. What is crucial at the end of the day is for genuine work to be done in service to the electorate.
The current uprising in the Niger Delta region has wrecked havoc on oil and gas facilities situated in your constituency, thus crippling Nigeria’s economy. What in your opinion can be done to halt the hostilities?
The underdevelopment in the Niger Delta which is my constituency is very conspicuous.
The vibrations of enslavement permanently occupy such a large space of the Niger Delta geography that the aborigines are invariably tempted to embrace the confrontational ideology in their range of agitations.
That the terrain is difficult is only an escapist fantasy because from the same difficult terrain millions of barrels of crude oil are shipped abroad and sold by the Nigerian Federal Government.
The trillions generated from the Niger Delta are sufficient to confront and defeat the developmental challenges of the region.
Should we then take up arms to press home our demands? The answer is no.
The destruction of oil and gas facilities under any guise is not justifiable. The scale and spate of the attacks are quite disturbing and capable of undermining the relative peace the people in the area have been enjoying for a while.
I must similarly point out that the task of achieving peace in the Niger Delta is to my mind coterminous with creating a habitable environment in the Niger Delta.
The task of creating this environment is one, which we all are involved. It is disturbing, to expect people to live in an environment where they cannot access their farms and livelihood.
It is unacceptable to pollute the environment and cut off food supply to communities by having oil spill un-cleaned and no compensation paid for damages incurred for months and years.
We all have a role to play to reverse this circular trajectory, which has not benefited anybody.
On Delta State government
Commendably, the Delta State government is pursuing with vigour her advocacy initiative in collaborating with law enforcement agencies, oil companies so as to build trust between the communities and government with a larger aim of achieving a better economic environment.
I find it equally remarkable, that the Federal Government has shifted ground to comprehensively dialogue with the people.
On our part as the people’s representatives, we have firmly resolved that it will not be business as usual. We are ready to work with all stakeholders to ensure that it is no longer more economical to allow spill into the environment and abandon it but rather it will be far more cost effective to stop spills and clean-up the mess.
The oil companies must turn a new leaf in the way they handle oil spills and show more positive inclination to clean up spills and pay adequate compensation to the real people affected.
They must effectively operationalize the Nigeria Local Content Act, by outsourcing significant percentage of their projects to indigenous contractors.