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Ijaw to Uduaghan: Hands off DESOPADEC

By  Ise-Oluwa Ige
ABUJA—A pressure group operating under the name of Delta Ijaw Youth High Command, DIYOICO, yesterday issued a 7-day ultimatum to Delta State governor, Dr.   Emmanuel Uduaghan, to hands off the management of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC.
The commission is presently headed by Chief Wellington Okirika of Ijaw origin but the state governor is alleged to have taken over full management of the Board from him.

The group which has its membership spread across Delta State has however threatened to make the state ungovernable for the governor if he failed to give Okirika free hands in the running of the commission.

The group also asked the Governor to distance himself from the state House of Assembly on the review of the DESOPADEC Act.

The review seeks to give a five-year tenure to the management like all other commissions in the state.

In a statement made available to Vanguard yesterday by the group and signed by its Chairman, Chief Patrick Bigha and four others, the group said that the action of the governor was a slap on the Ijaw community.

They said that by his conduct, “it is clear that the governor  hass no respect for the views of oil producing communities particularly the Ijaw people whom he hates.

“The Ijaw youth will not take this from him because,” according to them, if the tenure of office of Chief Okirika as the DESOPADEC Board Chairman is three years, “you have taken one and a half years of the Ijaw tenure.

“We want to remind the governor and the public that Chief Okirika is not just an Ijaw leader but a performer. In the event of outbreak of renewed hostilities, the secjurity agencies and particularly, the Presidency, should bear in mind and take cognizance of the above stated facts and hold the state governor accountable for his actions and omissions.

Finally, we claim responsibility including a possible mass protest in Warri urban and every other thing we deem necessary and appropriate to make the ghopvernor see reasons with our resolution,” he added.


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