By Amos Igbebe
Special Assistant to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on Youths and Community Development, Barrister Eric Omare, has called on youths in Ijaw oil producing communities in the state not to misconstrued the governor’s intention to amend laws establishing Delta State Oil Producing Development Commission (DESOPADEC) Amendment Bill currently before the State House of Assembly.
A section of youths under the auspices of Flow Station/Well Head Host Ijaw Communities Forum had last week given the state government ultimatum to rescind its decision on the proposed bill, failure to which they threatened to shut down oil installations in Ijaw land.
But speaking during the Cultural Day celebration of National Union of Izon Student (NUIS), Delta state University, Abraka chapter, Omare stated that the Executive Bill presented to the State House of Assembly by the Governor was tailored to reposition and strengthen the commission and not to take what belongs to oil bearing community away from them.
Addressing the students, Omare, who admonished them to be good ambassadors of Ijaw nation and the entire state, used the occasion to shed light on the amendment of the Bill establishing DESOPADEC stating that the intention of the Governor was not to scrap the commission but to make it more productive to better the lots of oil bearing communities and the entire state.
“Let me say these, I’m sure you are aware that some of our youths in the creeks have threatened to shut down oil facilities, the amendment bill of DESOPADEC is for the overall interest of the oil producing communities.
“What the state government is trying to do is to model DESOPADEC after NDDC. The governor want to use the tamplete of NDDC to introduce a management team where there will be a Managing Director and Executive Director with the sole aim of effectively maximizing the allocation accruing to the Commission and to bring about optimal benefits to the oil bearing communities.
“Therefore, I urged you to enlighten our brothers and sisters in the creek not to entertain any fear, the state government is not going to take what belong to you away rather the government wants to reposition the commission to effectively deliver of it’s mandate.
“I want to particularly appeal to our youths who had threatened to shut down oil installations to give government a chance to plan and deliver its SMART agenda which includes repositioning and restrengthening of the oil commission.
“This government mean well for the people and her youths. The state government have already designed about five different scheme acquisition programmes that would engaged our youths but all you need to do is key into these programmes and don’t misconstrued government good intentions to take irrational actions.
Speaking further, Omare said; “When former governor, Chief James Ibori set up the commission, he did so to develop the oil producing communities, now this administration thought it wise that the dummy needed to be rebranded for optimal delivery and the best template to use was that of NDDC which would make the commission more productive, he added.
Besides, Omare used the occasion to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure prompt payment of tuition fee and other allowances of students under the amnesty programme studying within and outside the country.
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