By Adesina Wahab
The Secretary, Board of Trustees of the Ndokwa Neku Union, NNU, Chief Henry Okechukwu, has commended a group, Oluku Ndokwa Envoy, a.k.a Organised Ndokwa Efforts, on its recent outcry over the plight of Ndokwa nation which he described as the second-largest homogenous entity in Delta State.
He specifically commended the group for recently publishing an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari titled, “Urgent Need to Act on Ndokwa’s Case,” in the Vanguard newspaper.
He said the advertorial explicitly spoke the mind of the Ndokwa nation, adding that the time had come for the governor of Delta State and the government at the federal level to accord Ndokwa people their dues and stop the deliberate marginalisation against the peace-loving and hardworking people.
“Forces outside our control have continued to conspire to diminish our call for equity and justice in the Nigerian State.
“Therefore we commend our sons and daughters of Oluku Ndokwa Envoys-Initiative, aka. Organized Ndokwa Effort, who have decided to once more echo our cries on the grave injustices our people have endured. We are particularly happy with the comprehensive and qualitative nature of the advert, which was evidence-based and tabulated facts that glaringly illustrates the issues.
“What equally gladdens our heart is the language employed by our sons. They neither insulted the Government, Mr President or leaders. They did not also quarrel with or display animosity against our neighbours – the Urhobos, Isokos, Itsekiris and Ijaws – who have been the beneficiaries of good and patronage that are common to all of us. Our brethren did not appoint themselves. They too have their grudges as can be seen in some of their expressions. Besides, there is great wisdom in not antagonizing but carrying them along. We are all in the same region and most like share varying fate in the hands of the operators of our political system. We need one another.
“We must recall that, sometime in 2020, these grave injustices compelled Ndokwa youths to stage a protest that blocked the busy Warri-Asaba federal highway. They blocked the busy and critical Ozoro – Kwale – Ogwashi-Uku Road, with the intent of calling the government’s attention to the neglect and marginalisation Ndokwa is suffering. It took great persuasion and pacification for them to back down. We in the NNU did not lose sight of that incident, knowing that if not well handled and nipped in the bud, that seed if allowed to germinate could grow into a monstrous tree the branches of which could wreak havoc at will.
“So we prevailed on them, once again, to give peace a chance, in line with the age-long stance of Ndokwa people.
The question they have since been asking is how far that peace has taken us. All the three Ndokwa LGA’s bear Oil and Gas in abundance. It was not the love of Ndokwa but the constraint of the economics of scale that made Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) site the Kwale/Okapi Gas Recycling Plant which was commissioned in 1987 by General Ibrahim Babangida.
“That plant now powers the NAOC Independent Power Plant (IPP) located at Okapi, in Ndokwa East from where, 458 Megawatts of electricity are generated and transferred to the national grid, with Ndokwa nation not having 1 megawatt of it. Whereas 58 megawatts is enough to electrify the area!! It is ironic and provocative that when the federal government was thinking of citing Gas Hubs and Industrial Zones in Delta State, Ndokwa was not remembered.
“We must acknowledge that in the dying days of the defunct OMPADEC, our son was appointed Sole Administrator but he had very little time to act before he was removed. That appointment, which was made by the Military Government of late Gen. Sani Abacha, was the closest Ndokwa got to the decision-making table in a matter of Oil and Gas which is their natural heritage.” Okechukwu stated.