The former chairman of Kokodiagbene community in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State, Comrade Sheriff Mulade has sent a strong message to both the Federal and Delta State government to step up activities in the area in 2018, as the 2019 election year approaches.
Comr. Mulade spoke with GbaramatuVoice on Sunday, December 31st 2017 in Kokodiagbene community, Gbaramatu Kingdom during the community’s fourth annual thanksgiving at the Goodnews Bible Church Int. (Heroes of Faith Chapel).
While appreciating the government of Delta State for the little they have done, he urged it to put in more efforts in its activities in the area, especially in the provision of infrastructures as well as ensuring a clean and peaceful environment.
Hi words; “For me, the score card of the Delta State government as led by Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa is far below expectations, and I want to charge them to brace up in 2018, as the expectations of Deltans towards them are high. The government of Delta State should as much as possible, do the needful especially in areas of infrastructures.
“To the governor of Delta State, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, let your works give you a second term opportunity so that people won’t see you as an election rigger in your bid for a second term in office. This is also a clarion call to all the governors of the Niger Delta at large.”
The former community chairman also challenged the Federal and State governments on the cleanup of the environment as he called for the office of the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) to be relocated to any of the Niger Delta states.
He said; “The environment is our heritage. We have the right to a safe environment but for the past years our environment has been bastardized and our eco-system destroyed. Our livelihoods are at stake as a result of oil exploration activities. Ordinary drinkable water you can’t find around these areas as a result of pollution.
“Under the Ministry of Environment, I want the Delta State government to take it as a priority to embark on environmental remediation projects, as we cannot always be calling on the Federal government. The State government should show some concern. To the Federal government, the much publicized Ogoni cleanup should begin in 2018, so as to give a sense of belonging to the people of Niger Delta.”
He also took a swipe on the decisions to locate NOSDRA head office in Abuja; “Presently, NOSDRA is in Abuja where there’s no oil and gas spill; so there’s no need for its office to be in Abuja.
“It is high time NOSDRA is relocated to any part of the Niger Delta states so as to be closer to the people for quicker response. We are host to oil and gas. If there’s any spill, the first agency to report to is NOSDRA. Unfortunately, because the oil companies want to avoid paying compensation, they had used their resources to lobby NOSDRA to work against the interest of the communities”.
On the forthcoming Delta State local government elections on January 6, 2018, Comrade Sheriff advised the government to ensure a level playing field for all the political parties and aspirants for the elections so as to be seen as free and fair. He also sued for peace among Deltans.
“I want to plead to both the Aladja and Ogbe-Ijohs to embrace peace in 2018, and focus on their potentials to develop their communities. The Delta State government should come out with a white paper on its decision concerning its efforts to resolve the conflicts, as it cannot continue to keep quiet in its air-conditioned office, while innocent citizens are dying.
“Maybe, the only solution is for the State government to use its executive powers to take over the disputed land for infrastructural development.”
Another community leader who spoke with GbaramatuVoice at the thanksgiving ceremony, the Amadiwei of Kokodiagbene community, Chief Emmanuel Ekpetipu, said the fourth annual thanksgiving is to appreciate God for all He had done for the people, especially in giving them a worthy son of the soil in the person of Comrade Sheriff Mulade to help attract development to the community.
“This event is to appreciate God for what he has done for the people of the area, especially for giving us a worthy son, Comrade Sheriff Mulade, who has helped the community to attract development to the area”.
The presiding minister of Goodnews Bible Church, Pastor Samson Abuja said even though the former chairman of the community initiated it, they would endeavour to continue with the tradition of thanksgiving, as he called on the people to hold firm unto God in the New Year in order for the Almighty to help them overcome their challenges.
Some of those present at the community thanksgiving ceremony are; Chief Emmanuel Ekpetipu, Comrade Sheriff Mulade, Mr. Dickson Akoto, Elder Raphael Selegha, Elder French Ari, Mr. Isaac Mone, amongst others.