25 August 2015, Warri – The people of Itsekiri ethnic nationality have vowed to fight with the last drop of their blood if the controversial Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC Act recently signed into law by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa was not reversed or abolished.
Former commissioner in the former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan’s administration, Newuwumi Omolubi, who spoke on behalf of the Itsekiri during a protest in Warri,Delta State, described as obnoxious, wicked, null and void, the alleged plan by the state government to short-change the major oil producing areas in the state.
He flayed government plans to peg 50 per cent of the derivation fund across the three senatorial districts, adding that the fund was meant for the major oil producing areas of Itsekiri, Ijaws and Isoko, who he said were suffering the impact oil and gas exploration.
Omolubi, who is a Peoples Democratic Party, PDP chieftain, argued that the state government doesn’t have the right to set aside 50 per cent derivation for the oil producing areas, explaining that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria states clearly that the derivation fund was meant for the oil producing areas alone.
“The only way out of this nagging issue is for the state government to look into this constitutional matter and apply it strictly in order to avoid a breakdown of the law. It is a pity that both the government and Delta State House of Assembly are insensitive to the plight of the major oil producing areas. Derivation, which is the basis of the law should be viewed seriously in order to avoid any unpleasant situation from the major oil producing areas.”
According to him, Ijaw, Itsekiri and Isoko all in one senatorial district produces almost 91 per cent of oil and gas mineral resources, lamenting that any law, which tends to give the position of governing council to each of the three senatorial districts was unfair, wicked and the height of marginalisation.
He argued that the issue of derivation has nothing to do with population, regretting that the conditions of oil producing communities were getting worse on daily basis.