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Published On: Thu, Oct 29th, 2015

Urhobo Groups Urge Deltans to Shun Itsekiri’s Threat to Shut Down DESOPADEC

LAGOS OCTOBER 29TH (URHOBOTODAY)- Delta State Government and the good people of the state have been called upon to ignore the 7-days ultimatum and threat to shut down the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) by a coalition of Itsekiri groups over an alleged unfair and inequitable distribution of projects, as the threat was unfounded and baseless as it does not reflect the true position of things in the commission.
The call was made in a statement jointly issued by five Urhobo Groups and made available to newsmen in Warri while reacting to a publication on page 37 of Vanguard Newspaper of October 27, 2015, edition, credited to some Itsekiri Groups, noting that if there is any ethnic group that would cry of unfair, inequitable and marginalization, it was not the people of Itsekiri Nation, an ethnic group that produced the immediate past Executive Chairman of the commission.
“First, we want to bring the fact to the knowledge of the general public of the oppressive tendencies of the Itsekiri group over the years. On employment, the Urhobos have a spread in eight LGAs as well as Patani and Warri South LGAs, constituting three federal constituencies in the state. As such there is no reason why URHOBO should not be in majority in any recruitment exercise in the state. However, it is on record that salaries are being funded through ethnic accounts which is not obtainable anywhere including the NDDC which we are copying.”
The statement was signed by Comrade Joseph Idama, Peter Waka, Preseident and Secretary, respectively, Urhobo Youth Development Initiative, Hon. Michael Otemu, Jude Ughabo, President and Secretary, Frorum of Urhobo for Good Governance, and president and secretaries of three other groups.
The groups noted that about 70% of Urhobos allocation goes to staff salary while the Itsekiris get addition of gas to oil, meaning more money for onshore, even in the absence of accurate and outdated production figures.
“On quantum, it is our view that it is not static but subject to periodic review. How can a tribe that produces the board Chairman, Executive Firector and a Commissioner talk of marginalization, while Urhobos as a nation with eight Local Government Areas including Urhobos in Warri South and Patani LGAs produce only the Managing Director.”
The groups questioned the rational behind the fixed figures which gave 29 percent of whatever that accrues yo the state to the Itsekiri ethnic nationality since the inception of the agency and therefore called for urgent review the origin of the allocation of production figures by the pioneering board to give way for fair and equitable sharing.
They called of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to be mindful of the group whose intention according to the statement was to derail his SMART agenda, advising that government should sustain the existing peace and tranquility and take proactive security measure to forestall these mischief makers from achieving their sinister objective to cause breakdown of law and order in the state.

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