*Meets with Egbema leaders in Asaba
In a bid to quell the incessant agitation in the Niger Delta region, the state government has reinstated that it would continue robust engagement with various communities in the state to build a ‘Stronger Delta’.
Delta State Deputy Governor, Deacon Kingsley Otuaro, disclosed this while fielding questions from newsmen in the state capital on Friday.
Otuaro had a meeting with Egbema Leaders of Thought, who came from Egbema Kingdom in Warri North Local Government Area.
The deputy governor noted that the meeting with the Egbema leaders touched on the developmental needs of the people and how they could be an integral part of the ongoing Oil Mining License to be issued by the Federal government.
“Egbema kingdom in Warri North local government is one of those major oil and gas kingdoms in the state and we have so far had some far-reaching understanding to mutually pursue the objectives.
“It is government understanding that issues will always arise whether it is developmental or political. And as a government, we have always proposed that the way out to solving all of these issues is to always engage the people through dialogue and ensuring that we are on the same page in achieving that which we have billed to achieve”. Barr. Otuaro stated.
Amb. Jude Ebitimi Ukori, who spoke to newsmen on behalf of the delegation, commended Delta State Governor, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa for taking the lead in protecting the interest of the marginalised people of the Niger-Delta on the issue of the marginal fields and other similar issues.
He said that the people of Egbema kingdom have suffered incessant adverse consequences from the oil production in the area.
Ukori disclosed the kingdom was demanding 25 per cent equity holdings in the marginal oil field for host communities, adding: “It does not need a constitutional amendment to go through, but a sense of judgement and political will on the side of government.’
He said other demands included Egbema representation in the on-going discussions on the marginal fields and related issues of development at the state and national levels.
He added that this would assuage the youths who were already agitated and running out of patience.
He appealed to the state government to address the political marginalization of Egbema people by having one of their own in the state Executive Council and emergence of the next Chairman of Warri North from Egbema, after 26 years.