By Emma Arubi
THE umbrella body of Koko indigenes, Koko Progressive Union, KPU, has called for support for Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan and the Export Processing Zone, EPZ, project by all sons and daughters of the town.
It also noted that the current confusion about land acquisition for the project was a product of communication breakdown between the relevant stakeholders.
The group stated its support for the eldersâ€™ call for due process in acquiring the land and all other matters in handling of the EPZ affairs, to ensure that no one was left uninformed about the current state of affairs on the progress made so far in the realization of the lofty dreams of Governor Uduaghan in attracting the project to the ancient town.
The KPU said in a statement signed by its President-General, Chief Walter Odeli and others, and made available to Vanguard in Warri that â€œas a body committed to the peace, progress and development of Koko town, we are offering and willing to negotiate a truce among all stakeholders in the EPZ project.â€
It noted that governmentâ€™s explanation and the position taken by the elders were all in order as they sought to better the lot of the people.
The group expressed satisfaction with the level of consultation by the government in the whole matter and appealed to all stakeholders to be patient with the governor, saying the â€œgovernor is no doubt working in the interest of Koko community and the state in generalâ€.
There had been controversy between the elders of Koko and the government of Delta State over the manner the land for the project was acquired without consultation with the elders.
But the state government came out with an explanation last Thursday on the true position of things and directed the Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Urban Development to take urgent steps to enter into negotiations with the community elders to facilitate quick payment of compensation whenever the various factions in the community settled their differences.