By Francis Tayor
*….Says DESOPADEC Should Be Restructured Along Ethnic Line To Restore Its Foundational Objective*
A Niger Delta Anti-Corruption and Human Rights Groups under the aegis of Center for Public Complain, (CPC) led by Comrade Ezekiel Kagbala in collaboration with Ijaw Peoples Development Initiative,(IPDI) led by Comrade Austin Ozobo has called on Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State to resist and jettison any internal and external influence to manage the affairs of the Delta State Oil Producing area Development Commission, DESOPADEC with interim or new board, adding that the commission should be restructured along ethnic lines to restore its foundational objectives.
This was revealed, Speaking with journalist in Warri,the biggest commercial city in Delta State, the covener Center For Public Complain CPC, Comrade Kagbala noted that, laws establishing government agencies in Nigeria could be subjected to review and amended for efficacy and serve the people.
He however stresses that, laws establishing DESOPADEC should be reviewed to accommodate the interest of host communities, non oil producing communities in the coastal region of the state as non oil producing community provides access to oil producing communities.
According to Kagbala, “Presiding over ailing commission gloated in awarding contracts to selected politcians within a political party,board members and loyalist is corruption.
He reiterated that line of corruption will tear down the intervention agency because turning blind eye to open and hidden impunity perpetrated by political family members, friend and loyalist does not portend good governance at any level,neither will it satisfy power and contract hungry politcians who feed on administrative imbalances”.
“Our dear governor should do the right thing confidently and righteously,DESOPADEC should be reorganized into ethnic development agency so that non oil producing communities that give access to oil producing communities could attain some level of development.
The anti-curruptin activist further reminded governor Okowa that the commission was established out of an act passed by the Delta State House of Assembly in 2006 under the administration of chief James Onanefe Ibori to serve as an intervention agency and was given the Mandate to alleviate the sufferings of the people with special focus on host communities”.
“Presently the commission could only boast of substandard,abandoned projects with its commissioners and board members gloting in politics, contract hustling as if their day of reckoning will never come.
It could be recalled that governor Okowa personally approved the Dissolution of DESOPADEC in July,2015 and that dissolution took immediate effect. The board constituted afterward is now set to exit the stage with less satisfactory result as the system was so opaque marred with allegations of financial recklessness and misappropriation.
“It is a sincere appeal to our dynamic and dependable governor, His Excellency, Sen. Dr.Ifeanyi Okowa to use the instrument of power to create Coastal Area Development Agency(CADA) and dissolve the current system of things in DESOPADEC. We pray and hope that our governor is already considering our appeal, the group stated”.