By Christopher Odamah, Warri


Thousands of staff of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, on Monday, staged a peaceful protest, crippling operations of the Commission in the oil rich city of Warri.

Addressing staff at the Commission’s Head Office, the Chairman of Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Employees Services (AUPCTRE), DESOPADEC Branch, Comrade John Ossah said the strike will continue until the Management yields to their demands.

According to him, the demands of the staff include but not limited to the promotion of staff who have been stagnated for ten years and the attendant arrears, non payment of Xmas bonus as enshrined in the staff conditions of service since 2016.

In his words, “We have been reliably informed that the State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has released the cash for payment to the Board but the Executive Director Finance and Administration, Bashorun Askia Ogieh has vehemently refused to pay, lack of adequate medical facilities, non remittance of the tax deducted from their salaries to the tax office, non payment of posting allowance to those posted out of the Commission and lack of office accommodation.”

Also addressing the staff, the Youth Chairman of HOSTCOM , Comrade Sam Agaga urged the staff to continue with the struggle as HOSTCOM is solidly behind them.

He said, “the Commission was created to empower people in the oil producing areas but since the emergence of Okowa as the State Governor, the reverse has been the case. The current Board of the Commission has not done anything to justify their appointment. The so called NDDC model is being made a mockery of. ‘We are prepared to go to Asaba to continue with the struggle.”

Meanwhile, police attached to the Commission allegedly brutalized three staff members while on this peaceful protest. One of the injured is in critical condition in an undisclosed hospital.