seeks patience with dialogue process
By Etop Ekanem
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State on Wednesday disclosed that the Federal Government and Delta State government had far-reaching discussions towards setting table for dialogue on demands of oil bearing communities and tasked them to be patient.
Ijaw of Gbaramatu Kingdom, Itsekiri and Urhobo bodies, who spoke via their respective spokesmen, Chiefs Godspower Gbenekama, Mike Odeli and Ese Kakor, respectively had threatened to shutdown oil operations over their exclusion in the Federal Government recently announced bid for marginal oil fields in their areas. The communities hinged their demand partly on the Nigerian local content act.
Addressing newsmen yesterday in Warri, Deputy Governor of the state, Mr Kingsley Otuaro, standing in for Governor Okowa, sued for peace, stressing that the people’s demands, including the twin projects of Ogidigben Gas Revolution Industrial Park/Gbaramatu Deep Sea Port, Omadino-Escravos Road and taking the diverted Modular Floating Dockyard to its original Okerenkoko location, Koko/Ogheye Road, etc, were legitimate demands
He said: “Last week, I called on our aggrieved oil producing communities to realise that results-oriented dialogue is a process, a painstaking process, not an event. The Federal Government has reached out to the Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa-led Delta State Government.
“As a responsible state government, we have already resuscitated links with the Federal Government. I want to appeal to you to be patient. We will reach you soon. Disagreements and threats had chased away companies and some of the projects we are now demanding for. Please keep the unity and peace.
“With coming on stream of key demands such as commencement of Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, and Federal Government approval of Escravos and Environs NNPC Power project that will benefit about 50 Ijaw/Itsekiri communities in the area, we have reason to be positive that dialogue and patience will bring more results on the demands”