The people of Itsekiri land in Delta State have called their kinsmen who were recently appointed into the board of Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) by the state Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, to make it a point of duty to always give account of their stewardship to the people.
The appointees, Hon. Michael Diden (chairman of the board); Hon. Daniel Mayuku (executive director) and Hon. Griftson Omatsuli (board member), were also charged to bring speedy development to the area, as “it would not be business as usual, where all the money meant for the development of Itsekiri land in the past went into private pockets,” vowing to set up committee to monitor their progress, finances and activities in the commission and the area.
The leader of the Itsekiri people, Chief Rita-Lori Ugbebor, who disclosed the tasks submitted before the appointees to journalists at a press conference held in Lagos yesterday, stated that the entire Itsekiri land is waiting with bated breath on what their kinsmen would bring to the Itsekiri nation.
She alleged that even though some of the appointees are men of questionable character, “the big question is: ‘Are these men going to make a difference to the Itsekiri people?’ We shall wait and see because all Itsekiri people know them, and we wish to make it abundantly clear that it will not be business as usual this time around. We want the state governor to know that we shall not tolerate millions of naira going to the chairman of the board as security votes and sundry siphoning sources of our money.
“These men will be sworn in as representatives of our people. It means they are there by the grace of the Itsekiri people, not by their personal capacities or qualifications. So they shall account to the Itsekiri people at all time; disclose to us how much of the people’s money is at their disposal as well as consult us regularly at Town Hall meetings on How best to use the money to develop our area, as anything short of this would be stiffly resisted. They shall remain the trustees of our commonwealth in DESOPADEC.”
The veteran journalist also read out the Itsekiri people commandments to the DESOPADEC board members, warning that “you shall not take and execute projects that meet your fancy without consulting us or share our money among yourselves as usual. You shall not have any project of your own as all projects belong and should emanate from the Itsekiri people.
“You must engage in sampling the needs of the people to have clear ideas of what they need. This point must be taken as guide for the three appointees. We shall also form a committee to liaise with you in every three months for stewardship report on progress made so far.”
The Lagos-based business woman, while decrying that Itsekiri land has been littered with abandoned projects with nothing to show for the money coming from the commission, declared that the development of the Itsekiri nation is of paramount interest of the people as any action taken by the appointees would make or mar the area, therefore, she urged them to make the difference by developing the area, exhibit the highest level of transparency in their duties and always give account of their stewardship to the people, “on whose platform and grace they are on the board of the commission.”