Speaker identifies cause of Niger Delta militancy, demands review of ownership of oil wells

Posted by Henry Ebireri Ovie, Asaba | 25 July 2016 | 2,346 times

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The Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Monday Igbuya, has attributed the continued militancy and youth restiveness in the Niger Delta region to defective and harsh socio-economic environment, absence of employment opportunities, environmental degradation, lack of infrastructure, under-development and inadequate benefit from the crude oil resources from the region, urging President Muhammadu Buhari to dialogue with leaders of the people.

“Mr. President should dialogue with the people. What are the problems? He should listen to the people. Power belongs to the people.”

The speaker stated this on Sunday while reviewing his first year in office. He charged President Buhari to review the ownership structure of wells in the interest of peace, harmony and unity of the country. He queried: “How many South-south people are owners of oil wells in the country? Buhari should allow 65 per cent ownership by the people of Niger Delta region.”

While speaking on the challenges, gains and distractions during his first year, the speaker, who described his first one year in office as tough, lauded his colleagues for their understanding. His words: “Before June 8, 2016, hopes were high. Some of us thought we were going to live in the past. Past Speakers had enormous influence and resources to assist the people. One year gone, the reverse is the case. We met serious recession. Subvention was reduced. In three months, things started getting worse. We started preaching the gospel of belt-tightening. My colleagues have seen reasons to adjust. The situation is very bad, very difficult and tough. My colleagues are wonderful people.”

Igbuya, who addressed an international media parley in Sapele, noted that the State House of Assembly has passed a good number of bills. “We passed a good number of bills. We achieved a major feat. We were able to find solution to poor power supply.”

Stressed the need for synergy between the three arms of government, he noted: “Can you achieve result without fund? No legislature can work without fund. We don’t generate revenue. The executive does that. There must be synergy between the three arms of government. People should be talking about synergy, not independence.”

The speaker pledged that the house will continue to make laws for the good governance of the state, in a spirit of cooperation with the governor. “I feel for Governor Ifeanyi Okowa. I wonder how he intends to achieve some of his dreams. We are looking inward and bringing some laws that can make Delta State generate enough revenue. Okowa means well for the people. He wants to set a standard. Deltans should continue to pray for this administration.”

He equally lauded the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, for positioning the party ahead of 2019 general election. “There is no faction in Delta State PDP. The reconciliation committee is doing very well.”

On what developmental strides of the Okowa administration in Sapele, the speaker said: “Sapele is developing. The dualisation of Sapele Road from Amukpe roundabout is ongoing.. Beautification exercise is ongoing. We are going to focus on other roads in Sapele. We are trying to expose Sapele to the international community. We are going to make Sapele a major centre for foreign investors and tourists.”

Igbuya described the death of the pioneer civilian governor of the state, Olorogun Felix Ovudoroye Ibru, as a terrible blow to the political class and Nigerians in general.

“Olorogun Felix Ovudoroye Ibru was a man whose name spoke volumes. He was imbued with gratitude, generosity, virtue, vision, ideas, spirituality, integrity and humility. He was, without doubt an architect first, before any other thing. It was however on the political turf that he etched his name on marble. Together with Chief Simeon Ebonka, they formed a strong partnership and set the template for the development of Delta State. He also contributed a lot to the uplifting of the Urhobo nation.”

He mourned the late Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi, describing him as a patriotic Nigerian and a great Deltan. “His death is a monumental national loss. It is very sad. It is very painful. He was a great footballer and coach. He brought pride to Delta State. He did the nation and the youth proud by standing out in the crowd not only as a skillful player but a coach imbued with maturity. We will definitely miss him.”

•Photo shows Delta Speaker, Rt. Hon. Monday Igbuya.

Source: News Express

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