We’ve not learnt lessons in Niger Delta – Min­is­ter

Daily Trust - - INSIDE POLITICS - From Eyo Charles, Cal­abar

Your min­istry is per­ceived to be one of the juici­est. How many projects did you ex­e­cute in the last one year?

I formed a tech­ni­cal au­dit com­mit­tee re­cently to au­dit all projects awarded by the min­istry. Though mem­bers of the com­mit­tee are yet to submit a com­pre­hen­sive re­port, the pre­lim­i­nary re­port will shock you. What we ob­served dif­fers re­mark­ably from the claims we have.

Usani Usani is the Min­is­ter of Niger Delta Af­fairs. A for­mer com­mis­sioner dur­ing the mil­i­tary era and an ex-chair­man of the All Pro­gres­sives Congress (APC) in Cross River State, Usani spoke re­cently on his min­istry’s ac­tiv­i­ties and Niger Delta mil­i­tants among other is­sues. Ex­cerpts:

Don’t you think the reawak­en­ing of mil­i­tancy in the re­gion is a fac­tor and how much is your min­istry in­volved in ad­dress­ing the restive­ness?

My min­istry is deeply in­volved while the oper­a­tional ac­tion is per­formed by the se­cu­rity agen­cies. But I must say that the en­vi­ron­ment is ours and de­stroy­ing it will not do us any good. Imag­ine, the Ogoni recla­ma­tion is go­ing to take 30 years, yet, we have not learnt. Rather than sup­port Pres­i­dent (Muham­madu) Buhari to do more, we are adding to the de­struc­tion of the en­vi­ron­ment, our ecosys­tem, fresh water and aquatic lives. It is a con­demnable and un­think­able ap­proach that should be re­sisted. Imag­ine, of all the lead­ers that this UNEP (United Na­tions En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­gramme) re­port was made known to them, it’s only pres­i­dent Buhari that agreed to im­ple­ment it. I can say that the Niger Delta re­gion is ben­e­fit­ing more un­der the APC regime than un­der any other regime.

We seem to hear less of your ac­tiv­i­ties as min­is­ter of Niger Delta Af­fairs. What do you have to say?

Well, I don’t work to be heard, but to achieve re­sults.

Can you briefly tell us about your ac­tiv­i­ties since as­sump­tion of of­fice?

I have done what I will say I am happy with. But the min­istry is new and so much is yet to be done.

What do you have to say about the ad­min­is­tra­tion of

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