The Speaker Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Mr Konbowei Benson, says the neglect of the Niger Delta region by successive administrations in the country is due to ineffective representation by legislators from the region.
Newsmen report that Benson, a two-term speaker in the state assembly, said this on Sunday while speaking with newsmen at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) secretariat in Yenagoa.
The speaker had on Thursday picked a nomination form to vie for the House of Representatives seat for Southern Ijaw Federal Constituency.
He noted that Southern Ijaw, despite being one of the top most local governments producing wealth for the country, has yet to have access road, electricity, hospital and other basic amenities.
The speaker added that these were reasons he was aspiring to the National Assembly to attract Federal Government presence to the area.
“As at now, there are many things we are still lacking, despite our contributions to economic development of Nigeria.
“We have no road connecting Southern Ijaw to other places in the state; no power supply, we are not connected to the national grid; we have no good hospital.
“Nothing to write home about, and those are the things that moved me to aspire to represent the area in the House of Representatives.
“So, I will use my experience in legislation which span more than 12 years to attract development to my area,” he said.
He decried the continued neglect of Southern Ijaw and other Niger Delta communities, which, he said, had nothing to show for producing most of the wealth for the nation.
Benson said that with good representatives at the National Assembly, they can attract Federal Government presence to the area.
“How can we produce so much but have nothing to show? It’s pathetic; a big oil producing local government like Southern Ijaw cannot boast of a road, even functional hospitals.
“Someone will spend four or five hours in the water before getting to Yenagoa; by the grace of God, when we get there, we will be able to argue our way out.
“Niger Delta and Southern Ijaw have to be carried along; our people have been neglected for long; that is why we need quality people at the National Assembly, people who will bring development to the deprived areas,” the speaker said.