27 January 2015, Warri – Rising from an emergency meeting convened in the wake of President Goodluck Jonathan’s private visit to the Olu of Warri and Warri Council of Chiefs, a political pressure group, Delta Coalition for Change, DCC, has said that it would not be swayed by reports that President Jonathan promised members of the Warri Council of Chiefs that he will perform the ground-breaking ceremony of Ogidigben Export Processing Zone, EPZ, before the end of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan’s tenure.
DCC, in a statement in Warri by its President, Young Piero, said that it was not convinced by statements ascribed to President Jonathan, where he explained that the twice postponed EPZ ground-breaking had nothing to do with threats by Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo and his Gbaramatu kinsmen.
According to the group, the President’s position was not in tandem with the earlier explanation of the Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, who hinged the reason for the second postponement of the EPZ ground-breaking ceremony on “communal issues,” insisting that the media war that has since trailed the claims of the EPZ land ownership “is evident for all to see.”
The statement added that there was no reason why the ground-breaking of the EPZ is yet to be done when those of NIMASA Dockyard and Shipyard as well as Nigerian Maritime University, NMU “which have large Ijaw interests despite being national projects were successfully performed.”
DCC noted that the only logical thing for President Jonathan to do is to “seize the opportunity of his planned campaign visit to Warri, February 4, to perform the EPZ ground-breaking if there is no obvious Ijaw agenda.”
It wondered why despite the obvious support President Jonathan enjoys from the Itsekiri-born Christain Association of Nigeria, CAN, President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, he appears to “be foot-dragging on issues directly affecting Itsekiri and other tribes in the Niger Delta,” adding that if the EPZ ground-breaking was not performed before February 14, “Itsekiri will vote for Gen. Muhammadu Buhari in the February 14 poll.”