Oil producing communities in Delta State are presently bickering over what appears to be conflicting postures of the immediate past administration of Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan and that of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.
The administration of Uduaghan had earlier sent a Bill which many believe was aimed at restructuring and unbundling the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, (DESOPADEC) to the Delta State House of Assembly (DSHA).
However, during his inauguration on May 29, Governor Okowa rather promised to strengthen the commission for greater performance and efficiency.
In his inaugural speech, Okowa had said that he would restructure the Board and Management of the commission inline with the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), and model through an Amendment Bill.
“SMART is not so much a new policy as it is a new approach to address our most pressing needs. It will sustain and deepen the policy of less dependency on oil and lay a solid foundation for economic growth and infrastructural development,” Gov Okowa stated.
Nevertheless, stakeholders are worried on how Governor Okowa would strengthen the commission in the face of the earlier bill before the DSHA, sent by former Governor Uduaghan and which the members of the House had gone far with.
It will be recalled that the bill sent by Dr Uduaghan had been generating lots of controversies in the state, to the extent that Uduagnan had to warn critics of government to stop politicising the alleged proposal to scrap DESOPADEC which had been speculated in some parts of the state.
Uduaghan had however advised the critics of the issue and should read the provisions of the bill properly instead of blackmailing government, misleading the masses.