Kaduna — Former minister of industries, retired Air Vice Marshall Mahammodu Yahaya, has blamed previous administrations in the country for failing to take adequate measures to prevent the emergence of militancy in the Niger Delta region.
Yahaya in an interview with journalists while marking his 70th birthday in Kaduna, disclosed that as students of the National Institute of policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, near Jos, they had warned the government of the looming dangers as a result of the environmental degradation in the Niger Delta region, but the government did not take it seriously.
He said, "our syndicate wrote a report on the Niger Delta in 1979. We went to the Niger Delta and saw the situation of things there and we said something has to be done or the situation will degenerate in future. But nobody read that report, the problem in Nigeria is that government don't read reports, they just collect it and keep. All the solutions to the problems of this country are at NIPSS. Government should try to access some of this information.
"We told the Shagari government to do something about the environment in the Niger Delta. A situation where you subject youths to drinking and idleness is not going to augur well.
He said the country is now facing the same situation in the north with the Boko Haram insurgency, saying it is a big challenge to northern leaders as only northerners can address the issue.
"What are the northern leaders doing? Boko Haram did not start in one day. It started from something and we ignored it. The nucleus of Boko Haram is supposed to be from Borno. What role did the governors there play? "We have a situation where people are developing thugs to protect them. When there is a change of baton and the same carrot is not there, there would be a reaction. Northern leaders should sit down and find out what is going on. It has destroyed the north. If we are waiting for the federal government to solve this problem, it is not going to be solved. "