By Emma Amaize & Egufe Yafugborhi
WARRI—CHAIRMEN of oil-bearing communities in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South-West Local Government Area, Delta State, have kicked against an alleged plan by some Gbaramatu-Ijaw leaders to use the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, to impose “political” projects on them.
Chairmen and members of Flow Stations/ Well Head Host Communities, in a protest letter to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, by chairman, Kokodiagbene community, Sheriff Mulade and three others, condemned the surreptitious move to foist projects on them.
They said: “Our findings showed that the interventionist agency in connivance with some Ijaw leaders and top government officials have concluded plans to divert the allocation accruing to the communities to build another refinery in the area and thereafter claim ownership.
“We make bold to state here that the project is misplaced and it is an explicit display of wickedness because the communities have sent their priority projects to the agency, as such we do not need this project.”
According to them, some Ijaw leaders brought fake experts from the United States some years ago and siphoned money running into several millions of naira under the guise of doing the groundbreaking of the stillbirth project.
They urged Governor Okowa “not to allow some selfish individuals to manipulate you (governor) into embarking on unrealistic programmes and projects for self aggrandizement, which could cause disharmony in the host communities.”
Efforts to reach the Commissioner representing Ijaw ethnic nationality in DESOPDEC, Chief Favour Izuokumor, for comment was fruitless, but a source said he was already addressing the matter with Ijaw leaders in the area.