By Francis Sadhere


The chairman of Kokodiagbene community in Warri South West council area of Delta state, Comrade Sheriff Mulade, has accused Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of insincerity in handling the recent onslaughts on oil facilities by the dreaded Niger Delta Avengers (NDA).

Comrade Sheriff Mulade.

Comrade Sheriff Mulade.

Mulade, a community leader in Gbaramatu Kingdom, said Governor Ifeanyi Okowa was just playing politics with the people because of security votes and expected revenue from the federation account.

Mulade spoke against the backdrop of the dialogue between the state government and stakeholders held at Government House, Annex, yesterday.

He describe the meeting which was aimed at restoring peace in the state and Niger Delta, as “a political jamboree”.

The Niger Delta youth activist also accused Okowa’s administration of neglecting the core oil producing areas in the scheme of things, pointing to the recent commissioning of projects in the upland part of the state to mark his one year on the saddle of governance, stating that none was commissioned in the riverside communities.

Mulade also condemned the recent advocacy visit embarked upon by the deputy governor, Barrister Kingsley Otuaro to the creeks, describing the visit as another political jamboree with no concrete result to show for it.

He advised Governor Okowa to take a cue from the former governor of the state, Chief James Ibori, who personally visited the creeks in the heat of the inter-ethnic conflagration, where he engaged the critical stakeholders; a step he stressed, ensured the cessation of hostilities from the warring parties.

His words: ‘’The Delta State Government has not been sincere with the people in the riverside communities as far as this crisis is concerned. The governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa is just playing to the gallery apparently because of security votes and the revenue from the federal purse.

‘’To mark his one year in office, he commissioned some projects in the upland part of the state, but none in the areas that are producing the money he is using to prosecute these projects. We are completely neglected. We are not happy with the governor. Avengers and other miscreants are destroying pipelines and the environment and the government has shown no serious commitment towards addressing the fundamental issues, engaging critical stakeholders to find a way to arrest the dire situation. They are only bothered about the oil money and not interested in the development of the people.’’

Asked to comment on the recent advocacy visit by the deputy governor to the creeks, he said the tour was just to cajole the people as it did not yield any positive result as militants were still bombings pipelines.

‘’If the governor is sincere about addressing the crisis, he should personally lead the negotiation by visiting critical stakeholders and the communities to see things for himself. The level of hardship in the communities is unspeakable ‘’, he said.

He continued: ‘’He cannot continue to be engaging political stakeholders who are beneficiaries of the crisis and expect to achieve a lasting solution. It is amazing that the continued lack of sincerity to end the crisis is as a result of security votes. It is the poor citizens in the communities who bear the brunt’’.