15 February 2015, Warri—Warri Interest Group, WIG, in Warri, Delta State, weekend, challenged the comment by the commissioners representing oil-bearing communities of Urhobo ethnic nationality in the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, that they produce more oil and gas than Itsekiri, Ijaw and other ethnic nationalities in the state.
National Coordinator of WIG, Mr Alex Eyengho, in a statement, described the recent position by the commissioners and a few Urhobo leaders as bogus and mischievous, warning that it was capable of disrupting the relative peace and togetherness among the various ethnic groups in Delta State.
He said: “This position by the Urhobo nation, particularly its commissioners in DESOPADEC, is an affront to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa who, on assumption of office in May 2015, restructured DESOPADEC through an executive bill presented to Delta State House of Assembly.
“It is laughable on the part of this set of Urhobo people to even think of, not to talk of making, these phantom, unsubstantiated, unverifiable and provocative statements. Perhaps they assume that once a few oil pipelines pass through your communities, then you automatically become an oil producing community.
“Rather than mourn, wail or resort to threats and subtle blackmail, they should look inward and downsize their workforce in DESOPADEC and save more money for relevant capital projects in Urhoboland.
“The Urhobo workforce in DESOPADEC presently is bloated. A lot of those employed are redundant and certainly have no business idling away and collecting free salaries in the commission. They must stop this idea of employment for employment sake. No, employment must be on needs and value-adding basis.”