Amidst criticisms and complaints over the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) an Oghara High Chief, Chief Femi Agbokoko had alleged conspiracies to split the commission. In an interview with journalist in his country home at Ogharefe, he said it was disheartening that the immediate paste administration in the state had without consultation with the host communities single-handedly sent a bill through the back door to the state House of Assembly to change the rotation arrangement of the chairmanship of the commission.
He said that the Ijaws have had their turn and the Itsekiri almost completing their term and that the next tenure would be the turn of the Urhobos going by the zoning policy and arrangement of Government.
He accused the immediate past administration of trying to split DESOPADEC saying “as we speak, there is a court case on-going on the issue of non-remittance of N235billion to DESOPADEC by the state government from 2007- December 2014.” He further alleged that the purpose of splitting DESOADEC is to make sure that money is not accounted for.
He said DESOPADEC as it were should maintain a status quo and be funded adequately manned with seasoned administrators to effectively deliver to the people.
He said somebody like Chief Henry Oghene Ochuko Ofa who had performed creditably well should be retained as the chairman of the next board so that all the oil bearing communities would be developed evenly on his administration.
He said “in the Urhobo axis we know the commissioner who have been so appointed since the inception of DESOPADEC and I must say here without equivocation that in the Eight L.G.A in Urhobo and Patani-Urhobo, they are in the vote that Chief Henry Ofa is the most performing DESOPADEC commissioner they have ever gotten in Urhobo nation, therefore it is not contentious whether Chief Ofa is qualified or not.
He said “I wish to state here categorically also that if DESOPADEC is not dissolved and the chairmanship is Zoned to the Urhobo Nation then Chief Henry Ogheneochuko Ofa representing Ethiope West, Sapele, Okpe Urwie and Urhobo nationality of Warri is the best choice for the people of the oil bearing communities since he has brought various tremendous developments both in human and infrastructures to his mandate areas.
He urged Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to concentrate on jobs creation for the youths generally but not to be given to few only who has political God Fathers, these he said would reached those roaming the streets daily for a white collar jobs which is the only panacea to rapid growth and transformation of Delta State.
The Oghara high Chief also advised the in-coming government to ensure Jobs slots are given to qualified Deltans but not those who come from across the East to swear to an affidavit that they are Deltans only to get the Job from the original owners.
He advised the governor to declare a house to house exercise to ascertain the true citizen of Delta State, and if discovered that anyone is not from Delta State that person should be shown the way out to give room to Delta citizens, through an exercise which he described as “Operation Show Your Village, house To house Exercise”.
Meanwhile, the commission has commissioned school buildings, fencing and water projects at Kokori, Ekrarhavwe and Oghara–Agbarha communities in Ethiope East and Ughelli North Local Government Areas.
The projects commissioned included: a solar powered water project at Kokori, a six classroom block with befitting bath rooms and toilets at Ekrarhavwe Secondary School and Eight classrooms block including fencing project at Oghara–Agbarha Primary School respectively.
Chief Christopher Obiuwevwi, member representing Ughelli North and Ethiope East Local Government Areas on the board of DESOPADEC, who commissioned the projects, said the projects were inspired by the Delta State Government’s love for the people in the rural areas of the state and its efforts to ensure that dividends of democracy are enjoyed by the people.
He said that DESPODAC cares more for those peace loving communities like Ekrarhavwe and urged other communities to emulate Ekrarhavwe community towards keeping peace and channelling their demands through the appropriate quarters without any form of violence.
He assured that Ekrarhavwe community will get more projects in the next budget for their peacefulness and urged other communities to emulate Ekrarhavwe community. He urged the various communities to keep watch over the projects handed over to them and ensure maintenance to avoid destruction and vandalizations.
Responding on behalf of the recipients of each community, the President General of Ekrarhavwe community, Engr. Friday Okurode, thanked DESOPADEC, Delta State Government for the projects, promising that the projects would be adequately maintained and protected from vandalization.
Okurode appealed for more projects as pipe borne water, transformer and motorable road to Ekrarhavwe secondary school permanent site amongst other essential amenities.
At Oghara-Agbarha community, the headmistress of the primary school whose school benefited with fencing round of the scWhool and a block of eight classrooms, Mrs. Okoro, thanked the state government and DESOPADEC through Chief Obiuwevwi for the fencing and school building projects as well as furniture and assured that the learning standard in the school will be improved upon.