Joe Effiong, Uyo
Former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah, has disclosed he is still being haunted by his resource control fight which was to make the states manage their resources while paying some percentage to the Federal Government.
Though he never expatiated on the manner in which he is still being haunted, Attah told Daily Sun that the most disappointing aspect of the struggle was the lack of appreciation of his efforts by his fellow Niger Delta people.
“I told you that people actually thought they should just stop me because they suspected I was planning a secession. So, that was a very grievous thing to do by anybody who was fighting for the cause of the people. It is still hunting me.
“The problem is that even the Niger Delta people don’t appreciate what I did for them. The then president shouted at me; he was just pointing his finger at me at Port Harcourt on the day they were giving flags to party candidates. He said I was the cause of all the militancy in the Niger Delta, and that I was the one who put the resource control issue in their heads, thereby making them to be fighting and blowing up pipelines. I was accused of starting the militancy in the Niger Delta, simply because I preached resource control.
“If I have any regret, it is because the people of Niger Delta don’t seem to appreciate what I went through, I’m still fighting it. The next level is this federalism thing. Let me not say it is my regret, but many Niger Delta people don’t appreciate what somebody went through to make them what they are today,” he said.
Attah regretted the practice of abandoning of projects by succeeding regimes. He said if such were completed, the credit would go to the regime that started them.
“Let us get it that government is a continuum. The fact that somebody started something and you come and complete it does not mean nobody would recognise the role you played. So, completing the seaport, the science park, and re-establishing the university of technology is a continuation of government. We don’t need another conventional university for goodness sake. It is the university of technology that we need. If you know the programmes we have for that university, believe me, you would shed tears that it didn’t happen. When you finish those things, people would say, yes, this man came and built on a foundation that was established.”
Making reference to the last general election with particular reference to Akwa Ibom, Attah said it was much better than the previous one that people were not allowed to vote.
“I am very happy with the results. I’m not talking about how it was done, or how it wasn’t done, but, at least, this time, I voted.”