By Binebai Princewill
National Coordinator, Ijaws in Oil and Gas, Comr. Ebipams Johnny, popularly known as the Aluta Bishop has declined from calls among his staffs, family, friends and comrades to celebrate his birth anniversary.
Ebipams, a leading Niger Delta advocate for good governance said “Four decades and still counting is enough reason to celebrate but today, its a mix-feelings with the many happenings in the country and Niger Delta specifically.”
The Aluta Bishop made the shocking revelation via a statement personally signed and circulated to newsmen in Warri yesterday ahead of his today’s birthday, a copy of which was sent to The Liberator. Newspaper.
He regretted that same issues that had bedevilled the Ijaw nation four decades ago when he was born are same still confronting the Ijaw nation, stressing that the end of the worrisome menace of underdevelopment is still not in sight yet.
He noted that owing to the many things he has seen in Ijawland in his four decades of existence, from the crisis that rocked the city of Warri to Kaiama declaration, present day Niger Delta struggle to the continued bombardment of innocent Ijaw communities are both enough reasons to thank God for his personal survival as an Ijaw son.
The Niger Delta supersonic voice against oppression expresses deep shock over the state of affairs that had befallen the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Niger Delta Ministry as well as the Presidential Niger Delta Amnesty Programme, PAP as intervention agencies to develop the region, he described the agencies as dead but breathing owing to the crop of people being appointed to man them.
Johnny asserted that until people who understands the true essence of the Niger Delta struggle is appointed to lead these agencies, the Niger Delta debacle would continue
In his words: “For a week now; The reflection has being from my early age as a child to the crisis that rocked the oil city of Warri, to what dovetailed to the famous Kaiama Declaration and the many happenings in my family in 1999 to the present Niger Delta struggle; It’s only but thanksgiving to the giver of life!
“God has indeed being too faithful to me and that would have been enough reasons to celebrate ones personal survival story but the bastardization of the struggle which has become very epidemic in our region calls for great concern hence I have opted out from the calls by both my staff, friends, comrades and family to celebrate.
“What is one celebrating when NDDC today has lost her relevance? Interventional agency that was birthed by the blood of many fallen Ijaw youths.
“What am I to celebrate when today the Niger Delta Ministry has lost its focus and has become a tool for political aggrandization? A ministry that we all fought for.
“Today the Presidential Amnesty program has now turned to “Better Life for Rural Women.
“Suffice me to say that there isn’t anything to celebrate; we still defecate in same water we drink from, most communities in Ijawland are yet to be connected to the national grid and no ray of hope that in four decades to come they will be connected, a simple proof of how underdeveloped we are. We are the farthest from government; from the mangrove swamp of Gbaramatu, to the creeks of Tuomo, all you see is ravaging poverty in the midst of wealth.
“In all, I am grateful for everything God has made happened for me these few decades; life has only just began” Ebipams Johnny stated.