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Eating Our Tomorrow for The Pleasures of Today

Community Issues

Eating Our Tomorrow for The Pleasures of Today

Every day we wake up to point accusing fingers at the federal government as the cause of all our problems as a country. When you point one finger to someone, do not forget that the remaining four points back to you. We keep on fighting with the center and forget that the real enemies are not in the center but within us.

The community leaders and youths are part of the problems. These community leaders who are the closest to the people they represent also turn out to be their doom. The idea of eating the people’s future for the pleasures of today mentality is an incurable epidemic ravaging most traditional leaders in our communities. The greed for money is a disease that has led so many people to their graves.  Nobody wants to development any more.

In “90s” and till date, the issue of paying “Deve”(development fee) directly to community leaders and the youths was what made the Niger-Delta region to remain undeveloped till date. Host communities did not believe in developments from companies working in their communities. A lot of the schools built by some of the oil companies in the Niger-delta region has either remained underutilized or has become living quarters for domestic animals.

When some of these oil companies refused to give money, they are frustrated by the militant youths who are jobless. Even when the youths are given job opportunities by these companies, they either sell it or don’t go to the office only to surface at the end of the months for their salary.

The moment Shell BP one of the major operators in Warri moved their operational headquarters to offshore, the town collapsed. Today the only businesses that are thriving are food and pharmacy businesses.

Developments bring locations together and help communities grow. None of these leaders want their community to grow.  They want to continue living large at the expense of those they represent and serve. I was sad when I heard that a major telecom company paid the community leaders N100,000 for kola nuts to erect a mast in one of the communities in Delta state. The leaders could not negotiate a good deal for the community to be developed by the company, rather they collected the meager amount; settled the youths to avoid being haunted and everybody was okay with it.

What experience does an uneducated community leader have when it comes to road construction in his community that he will be saying they should give him the money? Everything is all about sharing money for the pleasures of today. When there is no more free money the youths will take up arms and start causing chaos. Some will result to stealing, cultism, kidnapping etc.

There are several cases where individuals choose to give back to society through community relationship services but always met road blocks by both the corrupt community leaders and their foot soldiers-the youths.  There are some communities you will visit today and see big factories there and you will wonder why the communities remain underdeveloped. The reason is not far-fetched. The leaders must have collected the money meant for the development or have signed away the future of the community to the company just to collect some millions.

A friend told me how  their traditional ruler had earlier sent a company packing because they refused to give him the money they have assigned to a build a major road linking them to another community where they had a branch and a health center for the community . The traditional ruler of his village then signed a document giving a new company 15 hectares of land for Toyota cars for himself and his cabinet of chiefs to replace the former company because they agreed to play ball.According to him, this was 15 years ago and those cars are out of fashion. Their future landed inheritance gone.

The lists are never ending because as the community leaders are leaving, they are replacing themselves with their minions to continue. They have destroyed the future of their generations because of peanuts. They never see the harm because they are living for today and not tomorrow.

The people need to start looking at those they call their community leaders or else they will not have any future to look up to.

Credit pictures: Kingsley Nwabugwu

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