Crisis Looms in DESOPADEC over Issues of Salaries, Marginalisation of Urhobos
LAGOS JANUARY 31ST (URHOBOTODAY)-Unless the governor of Delta State Senator Ifeanyi Okowa in conjuction with the Delta State House of Assembly address the twin issues of staff salaries which is being paid on ethnic bases rather than on first count charge and the strict compliance of the law establishing the Commission which says that oil production quotum which is used as a formular for fund sharing among the 5 ethnic groups of Urhobo, ijaw, itsekiri and Ndokwa should be reviewed at the end of every year.
The Urhobos in Oil producing community of Delta State shall be force to take their destiny into their hands. This is the mode of Urhobo Oil and Gas Host communities of Nigeria (HOSTCOM).
In a unanimous decision Chief Femi Agbokoko, Chief Ekarekor and Comrade Anthony Adams Chairmen of Ethiope west, Sapele and Okpe HOSTCOM declared that it is unacceptable for any Government establishment to be paying Staff Salaries on ethnic bases,.
He argued that such action is “it unacceptable, it is wicked and it most stop”.
They made this declaration at the Town Hall meetings held by DESOPADEC in their Local Government Council.
On the burning issue of Oil production quotum which is used as the sharing formular in the commission among the 5 ethnic groups Chief Agbokoko and Chief Sabodje said that Urhobo produce the highest Oil and Gas in Delta State. “ if they continue to short change us , we shall mobilize our people to the Delta State House of Assembly”.
Chief Vincent Atuma, Chief Lizzy Iroroakpo and Anthony Adams vice Chairman, and Assistant Woman Leader of Delta State HOSTCOM said that the marginalization of Urhobos in DESOPADEC must stop. While Comrade Anthony Adams said that most of the Oils belonging to Ijaws and Itsekiri are in the deep sea off shore in which it was decided by the supreme court that all oil after 200 nautical miles off shore belongs to the federal Government “ Therefore Urhobos produce more Oil and Gas in Delta State. The Urhobo HOSTCOM leaders commended Urhobo commissioners in DESOPADEC in the battle of protecting Urhobo interest in the commission. They advise them to go and get the present oil production quotum from NAPIZ before the full commencement of the battle to claim urhobo rights in DESOPADEC.
The Commissioner Representing Sapele, Okpe and Ethiope west in the board, Hon. Jonathan Amitayein an interview with news men recently, said he was speaking on behalf of other urhobo commissioners made it clear that the law establishing the commission says that the Oil production quotum formular used in allocating fund to the 5 ethnic groups should be reviewed at the end of every year since Oil Production is not static. he added that the law as not been reviewed since 2007 “ that is the law, it must be reviewed”. According to statistic obtained base on the 2016 budget estimate of DESOPADEC before the Delta state house of Assembly Urhobo with 8 Local Government Councils and those in Warri south and Patani have the least estimate of 489.83 milion Naira, Itsekiri 2.5 billion Naira, Ijaw 2.7 billion Naira, Isoko 1.1 billion Naira, Ndokwa 633 million Naira. Since Urhobo have majority of the staff in the commission and salary is paid on ethnicity or tribal bases there is little or no fund for capital projects in Urhobo land. That is why the Urhobos are clamoring that salaries should be paid on first count charges since DESOPADEC belongs to the entire State and is not an exclusive institution of the Urhobos.