Head of department of chemical science in the faculty of sciences at the Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Amassoma, Professor Ezekiel Dixon Dikio has commended Niger Delta freedom fighter and peace advocate, High Chief Government Oweizide Ekpemupolo, for his quick intervention in the brewing crisis between Niger youths and minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio over the delayed inauguration of substantive board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The Professor of Physical and Materials Chemistry, whose research works focus on nanochemistry gave the commendation, while exchanging views with journalists at the Ernest Ikoli Press Centre, Azikoro Road, Yenagoa on Tuesday.
He said the timely intervention of the frontline freedom fighter saved the region and national economy from nose diving into another tumultuous period that could have degenerated to major crisis in the country.
Describing Tompolo’s intervention and peace moves as steps in the right direction, Prof. Dikio noted that High Tompolo’s peace building efforts were a clear demonstration of his courage to confront burning issues about the Niger Delta region, adding that: “integrity of men is measured by their conduct, and not by their professions.”
He said he was so proud of High Chief Tompolo because of his courage to face the truth, do the right thing because it is right and to say no, when it is not convenient, reiterating that the former ex-militant leader has alwalys provided direction, inspiration, and guidance as a good leader who exhibits courage, passion, confidence, commitment, and ambition, geared towards pulling his people together at critical times.
According to Professor Dikio, effective leaders nurture the strengths and talents of their people and build teams committed to achieving common goals, saying that effective leaders have the trait of integrity and strong set of ethical principles, having the ability to tell the truth, no matter the consequences and admitting to a wrong even if they could get away without doing it.
While expressing implicit confidence in the ability of the newly inaugurated Ijaw National Congress (INC) executive committee, under the leadership of Professor Benjamin Okaba to meaningfully mobilise critical stakeholders to engage the federal authorities and international oil corporations operating in the region on critical issues, he expressed the hope that the leadership of the INC would take a further step to also engage other federal parastatals and agencies on the issue of federal character in employment and appointments.
It will be recalled that the conflict in the Niger Delta arose in the early 1990s over tensions between foreign oil corporations and a number of Niger Delta minority ethnic groups, particularly the Ogoni and the Ijaws, who felt they were being exploited for decades.
The struggle for oil wealth fueled violence between ethnic groups, causing the militarization of nearly the entire region by ethnic militia groups, Nigerian military and police forces, notably the Nigerian Mobile Police. The violence then, contributed to Nigeria’s energy supply crisis by discouraging foreign investment in new power generation plants in the region.
From Piriye Kiyaramo