DELTA Governor, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa has called on aggrieved youths of Ndokwa ethnic nationality to sheath their swords as government is addressing their demands.
The youths came out in their thousands on Thursday morning to block the Ughelli/Asaba dual carriage way at Ogume junction following the expiration of a 14 days ultimatum given to the Federal Government and oil and gas prospecting companies in the area.
Okowa sent a delegation comprising the Deputy Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ochor Christopher, Commissioner for Finance, Chief Fidelis Tilije and his Trade and Investment counterpart, Chief Chika Ossai to address the protesting youths who blocked the road as early as 4 am.
The governor urged the people to be patient as their demands, especially, electrifying the communities from the Independent Power Plant (IPP), Okpai will soon be a thing of the past.
Also speaking, the Executive Assistant to Governor Okowa on Youths Development, Hon. Nnamdi Ezechi, commended the peaceful disposition of Ndokwa people, assuring that their long years of waiting patiently for infrastructure development from the Federal Government will be addressed.
Ezechi who arrived the venue accompanied by Hon. Innocent Esewezie, appealed to the people to allow free flow of traffic to avoid crippling economic activities.
The Executive Assistant who spoke in Ukwuani language said, “my people, our wonderful youths, both the government at the state and the federal level have heard your cry.
“Your activities of today have affected a lot of persons, those who rushed out to enable them get to their destinations early enough are stranded, please, give room for dialogue as your demands are being addressed.”
Speaking on behalf of the youths, Comrade Anslem Nzete reeled out the marginalisation of Ndokwa people by the Federal Government and oil companies, noting that though, oil prospecting activities started in the area by Agip before the civil War, there is no infrastructure in the area apart from a Correctional Centre built in 1905.
Comrade Nzete, thanked the state government for intervening, asserting that they were given another seven days grace period for their demands to be met, otherwise, they will cripple oil and gas activities in the area.
Newsden had reported that, Youth wing of Ndokwa Neku Union (NNU) in a well attended press conference at Kwale, Ndokwa West Local Government Area of Delta State, lamented the neglect of the area which they said, generates 50 per cent revenue of the Federal Government.
According to them, “We call on the Federal Government to quickly attend to our demands in two weeks, or all oil facilities including those of Nigeria Agip Oil Company, Sterling Global Oil, Pillar Oil, Platform Petroleum company, Chorus Energy, Midwestern Oil and Gas, and others in Ndokwa nation, will be brought to their knees.”
A statement containing the ultimatum signed by Comrades Afam Ogbolu, Bright Enueshike and Azuka Justice Odanike stated, “We wish to state categorically that all marginal oil fields in Ndokwa nation belong to Ndokwa people, and non should be sold to anybody under any guise, but to Ndokwa people; failure by the FG to try to sell any oil field in Ndokwa land will be met with full scale resistance.
“NDDC and other Niger Delta agencies managerial appointments: It is crystal clear that the F G is trying to cut out Ndokwa nation from Niger Delta; if not, how do you explain the non inclusion of Ndokwa people in the NDDC board, or any Niger Delta agencies since their inception. We call on the Federal Government to appoint Ndokwa an Ndokwa person as the Managing Director of NDDC now.
“There is no Federal Government’s presence in Ndokwa nation, except fof a Correctional Center. We call on the FG to immediately cite a Federal Polytechnic or a University of Technology in any part of Ndokwa nation.
“We call on the Executive Director, Social Services in DESOPADEC, to also, lead the two other commissioners to start the processes of oil quantum review in Ndokwa nation. We cannot continue to accept the 9 per cent derivation formular done in 2007, even after more oil companies have being extablished in Ndokwa nation, and Ndokwa nation has the highest gas deposit in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“We urge all multinational oil companies in Ndokwa nation, to immediately relocate their headquarters to Ndokwa land, or we stop them from operating in Ndokwa nation.
“The step-down of electricity project in Ndokwa nation should be immediately completed.
“We urge the Federal Government to immediately, rehabilitate, the Agbor/Sapele Road, and other federal roads in Ndokwa nation, as they have turned to nightmare to road users.
“We call on INEC to immediately, reactivate the existence of Constituencies 2 in both Ndokwa East and West, as it were before now.
“The Federal Government should, as a matter of urgency dualize the Okpai/Ashaka/Kwale/Ogume/Amai/Obiaruku road.
“The FG should immediately compel all multinational oil companies in Ndokwa Nation to sign a favourable Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with host communities in Ndokwa nation, and abide by it.
“We call on the Federal Government to immediately repatriate over 2000 illegal immigrants from India, China, Lebanon and others illegally working in oil companies in Ndokwa nation, as they have also illegally taken the jobs belonging to our youths for themselves.
“We call on the Delta State Government to immediately approve the take-off of Aboh Polytechnic and develop the Delta State School of Marine Technology, Kwale Campus.
“We urge the Federal Government, to immediately, complete the shore protection project initiated by the NDDC in the riverine communities in Ndokwa nation.”