Gov. Okowa Panics Over ‘New Delta Avengers’ Militants Group, Begs For Dialogue

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If the information before HardReporters is anything to go by, then governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state has murdered sleep following the last week threats by a new militants group, ‘New Delta Avengers’ (NDA), to embark on blowing up of oil facilities in the state, accusing him of gross marginalisation, milking and starving DESOPADEC to death and as the same time a monumental failure.

HardReporters had exclusively reported the threat of the new militants group of bloodbath in the creeks of the Niger Delta

The group had in a statement tagged “Why We Will Attack Oil Facilities In Delta state, Blame Okowa”, issued by the group’s spokesman, Cpl Oleum Bellum and obtained by HardReporters correspondent, said as ex-militants group from the oil producing parts of Delta State, they have resolved to commence bloody bombardment of oil facilities in the state.

According to the aggrieved new ex-militants, they have keenly studied the programmes and policies of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration in the past two years and have found that like the biblical Pharaoh, only extraordinary actions can soften “The governor’s devilish and hardened heart towards the oil producing areas of the state. While developments are going on in rivers and other states, oil communities in Delta have been stagnant. As a result, we have decided to take up arms and return to the essence of our agitation for the development of oil producing communities in the state.”

The ex-militants noted that “Governor Okowa set up State Capital Territory Development Commission and budgeted huge funds for the purpose of developing Asaba and any part of Ika nation that he sees fit, the new militants group noted that the governor has gone ahead silently developing Agbor, his hometown and others in the area, while leaders from the Ndokwa, Ijaw, Isoko, Itsekiri and Urhobo ethnic groups have watched with surprising lack of interest and show of acquiescing silence.

“The Delta State Oil Producing Communities Development Commission, DESOPADE that is the only organ through which development has trickled to our communities in the past have become prostrate and only active in name because of lack of funds. This confirms to his boast before the 2015 elections that he was determined to scrap DESOPADEC to free up funds for him to develop his dry and infertile Ika nation to the detriment of others. Today DESOPADEC is life-support; life is draining from it and supporting Okowa’s Ika.” the group stated.

Meanwhile, confirming his panic mood and worries, governor Okowa Monday begged the militants group, ‘New Delta Avengers’ to toe the line of dialogue rather than resorting to threats in resolving issues.

Reacting to the group’s threats of bloodbath in the creeks of the Niger Delta through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Aniagwu Charles, the governor described as unfortunate the threats saying at a time when everything was being done through due process in a democratic atmosphere, some persons were still resorting to threats as the best ways of achieving desired results.

“At the moment, the Governor is interfacing with the people of the stste by holding a townhall meeting after the commissioning and inspection of projects in each of the 25 local government areas of the state, where the people are given free latitude to bear their minds to speak up about what they want the government to do and what they believe that government may not have done satisfactorily, in which case, nobody is being gagged.

“If indeed this new group is desirous of having government develop the creeks, is desirous of having us live in peace, is desirous of having us protect the wellbeing of our brothers and sisters who live in these oil bearing communities, they cannot be talking about bloodbath because, bloodbath will affect most likely those who live in that environment much more than anyone else and so, you cannot begin to raise arms against those that you claim to protect.

“If indeed their desire is for the development of the creeks, we cannot take actions that is capable of further polluting the creeks, if indeed their actions is to bring prosperity to the people of the oil bearing communities, you cannot go and destroy the infrastructure that will bring dividends of democracy to our brothers and sisters who live in these areas, but most importantly, this government is already constructing roads in Okerenkoko, today you will see that work is ongoing in Ogulagha where internal roads are being tarred.

“If you go to a larger part of Burutu, you would never even know that we could get a road that will be up to 18 km within the creeks that is being constructed by Governor Okowa’s administration. All these are being done to make life much more meaningful for our people in the creeks and the empowerment programmes initiated by this administration, you will discover that our people in the creeks are not left out, so, it is a holistic approach that the government has adopted with a view to ensuring that everybody is brought on board.

“We want to believe that these individuals are not Deltans because Deltans are very peace-loving, they are people who yearn for development because they are development-minded and anybody who wants development can not begin to speak the way that this particular group is speaking, but. if it happens that they are from Delta State, we plead with them to give peace a chance because it will help everybody, it will help our brothers and sisters in the creeks because what touches them also touch us all; we plead with them to embrace dialogue at all times.

On governor Okow’s alleged milking and starving of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, (DESOPADEC), the governor stressed that it is not true for anybody to accuse his government of neglecting the oil bearing communities.

“It is also wrong for anyone to accuse the government of not properly funding DESOPADEC, and I do not want to address our mind to the group’s motto which says, ‘bloodbath to anyone who opposes or seen as a traitor;’ this administration has special respect for the ethnic diversity of the state and indeed respect to the three senatorial districts, respect to the ten federal constituencies and respect to the 25 local government areas that make up the state; everybody is being carried along because we believe that together, we will be stronger as a state.” Okowa said.

The governor further disclosed that his administration was working without preference to any special group, adding that based on the recession that hit the country, there is no way allocation to DESOPADEC would not be affected because, salaries of workers and the stability of the state is equally important.

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