DESOPADEC Budget: Itsekiri Leaders Query Award of N400m Two-Kilometer Road Project in Koko
LAGOS MAY 16TH (URHOBOTODAY)-Itsekiri leaders under the aegis of Itsekiri Leaders of Thought (ILoT), has kicked against the allocation of N400 million for a two-kilometer road at Koko in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State. The group is also unexcited with other provisions in this year’s N3.9 billion “special budget” of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC).
In a letter to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, ILoT described the allocation as “outrageous”, wondering “whether the road is to be made with gold?”
The protest letter, by Edward Ekpoko, a lawyer and ILoT’s Secretary as well as Dennis Amorighoye Mene, is the latest controversy bugging down the multibillion DESOPADEC budget, which has elicited protests by Ijaw, Urhobo and other ethnic groups in the commission.”
But apparently unimpressed by the budget, ILoT said:“…Two of the five star projects directed by Governor Okowa to be commissioned within a year are located in one community where the chairman and another board member hail from.”
It added: “Another is sited where the chairman has a huge multi-million naira oil business interest.
“All the projects are lumped in marginal areas in just one of the three local government areas.
“The reasons given for this anomaly is the need to develop the communities, (which have been) neglected over the years and, that it is the prerogative of the chairman to choose where to site the projects.
“Nonsense! And here we would make their reasons look awkward and ridiculous.
“The chairman of DESOPADEC was the immediate past ‘elected’ local government chairman of Warri North Local Government Area. All these communities he described as neglected in the past are all in Warri North Local Government Area, and he did nothing to uplift them; now, he is using his own failure as an instrument of blackmail to do an obviously wrong thing.
“We call on Governor Okowa to be wary of those who want to thwart his well-meaning intention. The directive to have five major projects in each of the five ethnic nationalities of DESOPADEC was at a cost to the governor.
“He must not allow certain individuals to rubbish his good name and intention. He must be steadfast and take the bull by the horn by putting a halt to the impunity, corruption and high-handedness in DESOPADEC.”