•Sued for continued Peace.
WARRI ~ A Niger Delta based Non Governmental Organization (NGO), the Center for Peace and Environmental Justice, CEPEJ, have assessed Delta State at 25 on both positive and negative.
This was made known to newsmen today in a Press statement by the group’s national coordinator, Comr. Sheriff Mulade while reacting to the State jubilee celebration at 25 years of existence.
According to the NGO, it stated that Delta State was carved out of the defunct Bendel State on August 27, 1991 and Delta at 25 years can be assessed in two major ways through its positive impacts and its negative impacts while stressing that in terms of positive impacts since its creation the state has recorded monumental achievements within the period due to the number and quality of leaders who have piloted the affairs of the state especially the democratically elected ones.
CEPEJ, charges all Deltans to see this celebration as a means to harness the unity and peace that binds the various ethnic groups in the state as one, no matter the security challenges and economic hiccups.
Noting that when the State was carved out from the defunct Bendel State, many civil servants that came in with it, as well as the former military personnel that administered the state can testify that there were no office accommodations as Delta took it as a challenge to put in place a government house.
It further observed that as at creation, there was no university in the state, it could boast of a functional university at Abraka, with satellite campuses at Anwai and Oleh.
“There was also no polytechnic in the state but today we have many polytechnics established at, Ozoro,Ugwashi-Uku and Otefe-Oghara, as well as the School of Marine Technology in Burutu. Before now, there was a College of Education at Abraka which later metamorphosed into a university. Now we have Colleges of Education in Warri, Agbor and that of Physical education at Mosogar.”
Maintaining that, Delta State at 25 now has primary and secondary schools that can compete favourabely with their counterparts anywhere in the world. These are in addition to twenty model schools in Delta State today.
“In the area of health, Delta State which inherited dilapidated Hospital at creation, now boasts of a well-equipped health centres and general Hospitals in parts of the 25 Local Government Areas as well as University Teaching Hospital (DELSUTH) at Oghara.
“In the area of transportation, Delta state has been able to satisfy the yearnings and aspirations of the people by reducing the barest minimum, the cost of transportation on land and water. As at the time of creation, there was no airport but now we have an airstrip at Osubi and international airport in Asaba.
“In addition, when Delta state was created, it inherited trained and experienced broadcasters but without a broadcast station and no Newspaper publishing company. Today the state has Pointer Newspaper, and Delta Broadcasting Service in Warri and Asaba. Delta is the only state in Nigeria that owns and runs two television and two radio stations at the same time.
“As at creation, there were no good road networks and bridges linking the riverside communities with the upland communities. Now, Delta State has many roads, though some now beg for rehabilitation or reconstruction.
“In spite of these positive impacts of the state at 25years there are some lapses which we need to mitigate such as unemployment among youths which has been a source of youth restiveness, conflict and threat to security, law and order. The rate of unemployment is inherent in the capitalist system, while the government is not committed to evolving pragmatic measures to reduce unemployment. This unemployment in the state has given birth to crimes such as robbery, drug trafficking, pipeline vandalism, and illegal oil bunkering, as well as social vices such as prostitution.” It asserted.
“Delta state which is agrarian with about 75% of its population as farmers, has since 2000 designed its budget to aid the agricultural sector, but has achieved very little because of corruption. Today farmers have limited access to credit facilities due to reluctance by government to release funds and upgrade infrastructural facilities as well as improve on agricultural technology so that the youths can be attracted to the sector.
“As for health care, the facilities provided are in a deplorable state because the health sector was neglected by the state government, leading to non-functional facilities mostly in the rural areas necessitating the call to the present administration to act fast.
“Peace and security, as well as law and order constitute the foundation upon which any society stands. In terms of security, Delta state has had its share of challenges especially in Warri axis. Problems of insecurity and a breakdown of law and order are due to poor service delivery by government, youth restiveness and electoral violence accentuated by actions after political elections.” It added.
“Delta state is the hub of energy supply in the country with about 40% of gas reserve, yet there is no constant electricity supply in the state, a problem that has negative implications for the economy of the State. This is in addition to the issue of social amenities in rural and urban communities in the state, life has been difficult for Deltans as electricity and good road are non-existent. Inadequate electricity supply has been a major challenge in the state; imposing major constraints on social and economic activities. There are limited industries and industrial facilities, which government is yet to address vis-a-vis the plight and challenges of the people living in the affected areas. These and other pitfalls notwithstanding, Delta State can be said to be on the march to higher grounds in terms of socio-economic and political development, so long as the needed paradigm shifts are effected by relevant authorities.” The statement concluded.