By Simon Ebegbulem
BENINâ€”THE Benin Youth Council (BYC), an umbrella body of all Bini youths, wants Governor Adams Oshiomhole to relocate the Oredo local government council secretariat at Ring Road, Benin City, saying the present location was a clog to the on-going beautification programme of the government.
The BYC also urged the governor to liaise with the Senator representing Edo South senatorial district, Senator Ehigie Uzamere, in searching for a qualified candidate for the stateâ€™s slot inÂ Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), in order to have a consensus candidate from oil producing communities.
In a statement signed by the BYC Coordinator-General, Mr John Aghasagbon, and made available to Vanguard, the group argued that for the sake of development, the council secretariat should be moved to areas that were yet to be developed, and apart from that â€œ the beautification exercise may not succeed around the Ring Road area because of the avalanche of people that throng the secretariat on daily basis.
â€œ We are also aware that we have the Palace of the Oba of Benin around there and we know the number of tourists that visit there on a daily basis.
So for the beautification to be successful, we suggest that we decongest Ring Road by relocating the secretariat because with out that, we will still find ourselves in a situation where crowd will be a problem in sustaining the beautification exercise.â€
On the NDDC nominee, it would be recalled that the senate had earlier rejected the nominee of the governor, Mr Jude Idehen, after they explained that as a serving member of the State House of Assembly, it would be improper for him to also serve as the state representative in the Board of the NDDC when there are lots of qualified and unemployed graduates from the oil producing communities.
The group stressed the need for somebody who would be generally acceptable to be appointed into the NDDC Board, warning that the elders and youths of the Benin kingdom would resist â€œ the appointment of persons who are alien to the yearnings and aspirations of the oil producing communities.
â€œBut we will support anyone who have been involved in our collective effort as a people to correct the years of deprivation, marginalization and general disservice through negative federal politics by some non-Binis and their Bini apologists since 1970.
â€œWhile we want a vibrant person for the position is to help harness the enormous resources of Edo South senatorial district, in line with the resolve of the state governor, and not one that will come on board to promote political godfatherism and divert scarce resources to the whims and caprices of political jobbers.â€
The group added that â€œanything short of these credentials will be a great disservice to Edo South people who have lost most of her oil wells to Ondo and Delta States for over fourteen years without meaningful plans to see to their recovery.
â€œAs critical as the post of an NDDC commissioner is to development of host communities of oil exploration activities, we wish it would be democratize to allow for voting by those who bear the brunt of the exploitation.
â€œThis will, therefore, check the emergence of political opportunists, most of whom emerge from the blues and make little or no impacts in the lives of the host communitiesâ€™ peoples and areasâ€.