29 April 2015, Asaba – Oil communities in Delta State are at “war” over a bill by the governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, to the Delta State House of Assembly, to streamline the operations of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC.
The bill for a law to provide for the establishment of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Commission, Five Ethnic Nationalities Oil Producing Development Agencies, Five Ethnic Nationalities Producing Areas Investment Corporations and Other Matters Connected Therewith, will go for a second reading today.
However, the national leadership of Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas, HOSTCOM, led by Prince Maikpobi Okareme, is strongly opposed to the passage of the bill, which it described as a move to scrap DESOPADEC.
Its position is sharply opposed by the state chapter of HOSTCOM, headed by Hon Benjamin Iwetan, which described Uduaghan’s move as patriotic.
Bill not scrap DESOPADEC—Ogeah
Commissioner for Information in the state, Mr. Chike Ogeah, denied in an interview that Governor Uduaghan was planning to scrap DESOPADEC as insinuated by the national leadership of HOSTCOM, but a lawmaker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, asserted, “the governor wants to decentralize the operations of DESOPADEC with the bill, I see it as a selfish bill.”