Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Niger Delta: Don’t mistake cessation of hostilities for problems resolution-Ekpotu

10 October 2011

Engr. Patrick Ekpotu is the immediate past Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State. He, like other deputy governors of Akwa Ibom State since the advent of the Fourth Republic served only one term in office. A fellow of the Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers, he was the running mate to Governor Godswill Akpabio in the 2007 election but was dropped from the ticket ahead of the 2011 election. Ekpotu who affirms an abiding friendship with Governor Akpabio denies any form of bitterness but nevertheless says Akpabio is surrounded with hawks. In this interview, Ekpotu speaks of on Niger Delta, his emergence as Akpabio’s running mate in 2007, his stewardship as and how he left office. Excerpts:

Your new book is something on the Niger Delta. Why is it coming now, when we thought we have resolved the Niger Delta imbroglio. Is there still a crisis in the Niger Delta?

Incidentally, the book, LIFTING THE PERIL was put together when the Niger Delta problem was the issue in Nigeria. Be that as it may, crisis in Niger Delta may have been considered over and that is to those that are not discernible enough to see the handwriting on the walls of destiny. What we have experienced is a cessation of hostilities.

A cessation of hostilities is one thing quite different from a resolution of the underlying issues. And beyond that, a cessation of hostility is a fall out of a temporary solution to a problem. But the permanent way of resolving a problem is that which will ensure that not just the hostility has been put to an end, but also the idea and knowledge of how to re enact the whole thing has been completely wiped off the memories of people.

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