Former Minister of Industries, Air Vice Marshall Mahammodu Yahaya (rtd), 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 at the weekend with journalists, to mark his 70th birthday in Kaduna, disclosed that as students of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, near Jos, Plateau State, they had warned the government then (headed by Alhaji Shehu Shagari) of the looming dangers as a result of the environmental degradation in the region Niger Delta region, but the government did not take it seriously. He said in 1979, his syndicate group at NIPPS wrote a report on the Niger Delta, after undertaking a tour of the area and submitted it to the government, but nothing was done about the report.
According to him, one of the reasons why the nation is being plagued by many problems is because government have failed to read reports, which would have help them take adequate steps in preventing crisis.
“At NIPSS, you are divided into syndicate groups and assigned to undertake a tour of the different parts of the country. 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 (in the report) that 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.
“If you take urgent action when you see the sign, you will avoid trouble. A country that believes in crisis management cannot survive. Your intelligent network should tell you what is going to happen not to wait for it to happen before you act.
“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."