…decries deprivation, poverty in oil bearing communities
By Festus Ahon, ASABA
DEPUTY Senate President and governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Delta State, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, has said government have been unfair to the Ijaw ethnic nationality.
Speaking at Effurun, Delta State when he met with members of The Struggle Platform, a group pushing for improved condition of Ijaws in oil-bearing communities in the Niger Delta, Omo-Agege said he had always felt the pains of the Ijaw nation, lamenting the depreviation and poverty in oil bearing communities.
Accompanied by his running mate, Rt. Hon. Friday Ossai Osanebi; State APC Chairman, Elder Omeni Sobotie; Chairman, APC Delta Central, Chief Paulinus Akpeki, Mr. Raymos Guanah and other leaders of the party in the state, he said: “l continue to feel the pains of the Ijaw nation because l know the contribution of the Ijaw nation to this country”.
Omo-Agege said: “l know, as a consequence of this contribution, so much is returned back here to our state either by FAAC allocation or by way of 13 per cent deriviation, but is there anything on ground in Ijaw nation that is commersurate with that receipt to Delta State? The answer is no.
“I believe government has been unfair to the Ijaw people given their contribution to the economy of this contribution to the struggle to what comes to Delta State.
“We will do better than this government; We are prepared to change the narrative; we are prepared to judiciously use the resources that will come to Delta State for the benefit of the majority of our people.
“I can commit to you that that era where people will spend the best part of their lives rendering service to this state and having retired from service, will not be paid their pensions and gratuities will be over. I think it is wickedness to do that and that era will be gone for good.
“Go to Borno and Eboyi States, they do not receive 13 per cent derivation but those governor’s have turned those states to construction sites. Go to Rivers, go to Akwa-Ibom; forget about the party, it is not about PDP or APC, it is about leadership, competence and your orientation to service.
“It is not about sharing the cake, it is about baking the cake and whatever comes is used for the benefit of everyone. We want to build a new Delta State with an acronym we have come up with, BAND, ‘Build A New Delta.”
Earlier his remarks, the host and chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Dan Ekpebide declared his intention to defect to the APC.
He said: “After 2007, I have never been active in any political party. But today, I am wholeheartedly for my brother and that which he represents in APC. The official declaration will be done in Okerenkoko, our ward headquarters.
“Today, I am telling you that wherever you stand, that’s where I stand. And I am not alone, I am working with people. My associates, friends, brothers are all with me on this. After this, so many things will roll out. And I am very sure that we will get to the promised land,” he said.
On his part, leader of the group, Elder Timi Ogoriba, lauded Omo-Agege’s sterling leadership qualities, saying; “we have known you as a go-getter. Going with you will not be a misplaced priority.”