…urges BEDC to supply steady power
By Godwin Oghre
Sapele—The Special Assistant to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State on Security Matters, Mr. Omasa Mabiaku, has enjoined the people of Sapele to love themselves and work for the development of the town, rather than fostering ethnic crisis in the area.
The governor’s aide spoke against the backdrop of a recent publication credited to some President-Generals of Amukpe, Elume, Ozue, Sapele-Okpe and Ugborhen districts of Sapele, under the aegis of, “Indigenous Communities in Sapele.”
The publication said: “We are aware of clandestine moves by some Itsekiri groups led by Michael Diden, (Ejele) aimed at sabotaging the power sector as it affects Sapele Local Government Area.”
Reacting, the governor’s aide said: “Detractors should appreciate Ejele’s good work in Sapele and not fight him for political reasons.
“Sapele is still experiencing blackout, despite the town having two power stations with enough power reserved. Is there any reason the power stations can have power reserve but not lift and distribute same to consumers? We will not accept that trend because we are here and we are directly affected.
“Where were these people when Ben Tobi wrote to Obasanjor and he got reply from him over the step down, which was the manifestation of the step down?
“If there is power in the step down station in Amukpe-Sapele, why will BEDC refuse to lift it for supply to the people? Is that what the government said? Did the government say they should hoard power when there is electricity in the step down station? If money did not change hands why is it that this people are negotiating with BEDC for the number of hours that the company will supply light?”
“The government did not tell them to negotiate the hours that BEDC must supply electricity. They are told to supply constant power and collect their bills from the consumers.”
without using any intermediary. If their hands are clean, are they suppose to negotiate supply by hours when the power is available at the step down station? The answer is no.”
Hon Mabiaku who described the publication as “arrant nonsense and capable of spurring acrimony and disaffection between the Itsekiri nation and other ethnic groups in Sapele,” said, “The fact that Dr Diden is Itsekiri by birth, would not preclude him or others like me from rising in defense of Sapele. Many of us have overwhelming stake in the economy of Sapele.”
“We live here and the town belongs to everyone. The power protests are been carried out by residents, inclusive of market women whose means of livelihood are been jeopardized by epileptic power supply. It is not an Ejele’s affair alone. He is only a protester like everyone. He meant good but his detractors meant evil for the people.”
“The authors are detractors and haters of truth and the progress of Sapele. The town belongs to all of us, and they should stop ethnic sentiment and concentrate on its growth and development. That is what Ejele and many others have vowed to do.”
“These people (authors of the publication) are constantly fanning the embers of war, instigating ethnic crisis and accusing us who make up other ethnic groups, particularly the Itsekiris led by Ejele, saying we are not indigenes of Sapele, and that we are unnecessarily involved in the affairs and welfare of the people of the area, which is not true.”
“For instance, EjeIe as a person is more indigenous in Sapele than his detractors.” Many of us have overwhelming stake in the economy of Sapele than the noise makers, some of who have used their positions to deplete the socio-economic life of the people, a fact well known to the common man on the streets.”
“Sapele is a cosmopolitan town with residents spreading across so many ethnic groups with core interest and stake in the economy and wellbeing of the town. As such, all of us should stand up to defend the socio-economic life of Sapele, particularly as so many of us own families, landed properties and catalogues of businesses in the area.”
“I am shocked that in this modern age somebody is still primitive enough to consider a fellow Nigerian who has lived in a place for over ten years and has naturalized in such a place, as a stranger. Today, many of us can vote and be voted for in Sapele LGA, just as the so called “indigenous communities,” so where is the difference?”
“Dr Diden would not be distracted in his good work in Sapele. As a lawmaker who represents his people in their peculiar interests in the state house of Assembly, he, like every other Deltans and Nigerians in any capacity, has the general responsibility to defend a section or the entire state and the country as a whole, inclusive of Sapele.”
“By the way where were these so called indigenous communities when the glory of Sapele which used to be one of the first two second class cities in Nigeria started waning away? All the roads constructed by Ogbemudia have failed and some people have sat on all government efforts to repair them.”
“Where is electricity? Where have these indigenous people been since the gradual collapse of all infrastructures in Sapele? It is game up for them because we will not longer accept the trend and the man currently in the fore of the struggle for the emancipation of Sapele is Ejele.”