Ogbe-Ijoh, Aladja Crisis: Fight No More, Okowa Tells Communities

ifeanyi-okowa-speaksThe Governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has warned that the government would no longer tolerate any further outbreak of crisis among communities in Ogbe Ijoh and Aladja.

The warning was issued to put to an end to killings and maiming as well as curb the worsening security situation in the area.

Governor Okowa gave the warning during an extended Security Council meeting in Asaba that had traditional rulers and youths from Urhobo and Ijaw communities in attendance.

He said that the government was losing its patience with the perpetrators of the crisis and would not allow the crisis to degenerate into an inter-tribal war.

The meeting is coming on the heels of deteriorating security situation and the alleged beheading of people by suspected youths in the communities.

Not Ready For Peace

Reading a riot act to the warring communities, Governor Okowa said he would not hesitate to deal decisively with leaders of both communities in the outbreak of another crisis, urging them not to take the state government for granted.

He explained that the government had made frantic efforts to broker peace between the two communities which have not yielded any positive results and directed security agencies to arrest the President Generals, Women and Youth leaders if any further crisis erupts.

“We have been doing a lot to stop the crisis but it appear these our brothers are not ready for peace and are ready to drag us into an ethnic war which will not help anybody.

“We cannot close our eyes to the inherent danger in their actions.

“I have directed the security agencies that the President-General, Youth and Women leaders of the communities should continue to report weekly to the Naval Base and they should be held responsible if there is further escalation of the crisis,” the governor said.

The Governor appealed to the traditional rulers, especially those of Aladja and Ogbe-Ijaw communities, to cooperate with the government and security agencies in enthroning lasting peace, warning that appropriate actions might be taken against them if the crisis continued to escalate.

“I have not gotten enough cooperation from the traditional rulers of Ogbe Ijoh and Aladja communities and we have a lot of respect for your office, but I wish to caution that that respect would be withdrawn if we have further crisis.

“I will not hesitate to take appropriate actions against the two traditional rulers if we hear any further crisis.

“We cannot continue to act in this manner, it is time to maintain law and order in the area,” Governor Okowa said.

He further described as worrisome, security reports which indicated that the crisis was degenerating into a full scale war between the Urhobo and Ijaw ethnic nationalities and appealed to traditional rulers in the state to compliment government’s efforts at ensuring the restoration of peace as “it is difficult to maintain peace without the royal fathers”.

Okowa Urges Deltans To Allow Peaceful Atmosphere For Development

Okowa, Delta State, Peaceful AtmosphereThe Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, has met with stakeholders in Warri on the need to create a peaceful atmosphere for the development of Delta State and the Niger Delta region.

The Governor, during the meeting at the government house annex, Warri, decried the destruction of oil facilities in the Niger-Delta region which he said had compounded the financial woes of the nation as oil prices have not only reduced but, the country could not increase oil production to boost revenue.

Governor Okowa said that the meeting was necessary to intimate the people about the current financial and economic challenges being faced by the state.

Earlier, the Governor met with the leadership of Ugborode community, South West local government area of Delta State for the effective commencement of work at the multi-billion dollar Gas Revolution Industrial Park (GRIP) project in the area.

Addressing a cross section of journalists in Warri after the State Security Council Meeting, Governor Okowa observed that although, Ugborode community was peaceful, there was the need to sensitize them to build on the existing peace as construction works would commence in the multi-billion dollars project within the next couple of weeks.

Governor Okowa also asked representatives of Ogbe-Ijaw and Aladja communities to cooperate with the committee set up by his administration to proffer lasting solutions to the dispute that has rocked both communities over the years.

Governor Okowa gave room for participants to express themselves on how they could provide the peaceful atmosphere for the economy to strive.

On their part, the State Commissioner of Police, Zanna Ibrahim called on Deltans to give useful information to security operatives to nip situations in the bud, observing that criminality, especially pipeline vandalism, has long term effects on the environment.

Others stakeholders who spoke at the occasion, including traditional rulers called for the implementation of local content policy in the oil sector and proper equipping of security operatives.

Some others cried out over gross marginalization of their communities and appealed to the state and federal government to give them adequate attention.

Delta Govt. To Partner With BDFID To Boost Agriculture

DeltaThe team leader of the British Department for International Development (DFID), Mr. Terry Lacey, has identified agriculture as one of the best ways for job creation especially with the current economic downturn associated with the fall in oil prices in the international market.

He made the declaration during a business visit to the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, to discuss their intention to partner with the state government in the areas of agricultural development.

They presented plans to focus on the private sector, and particularly small farmers because they are the foundation to achieving a stable and sustainable economy for the state.

According to him, if some Deltans decide to become small scale farmers, the internally generated revenue and the agriculture sector would see a tremendous boost and for this to happen the small scale farming has to be recognized by government, big scale farmers and companies.

Acknowledging that the DFID programme falls in line with the Governor’s smart agenda in the area of agricultural boost and wealth creation, he noted that keying into this programme would surely bring about a boost in the state’s agricultural produce.

Expressing satisfaction with the partnership and giving assurances of the state government’s support to the agency, Governor Okowa said that the partnership would boost his efforts towards reducing the number of unemployed people in Delta State.

He reiterated his belief that the agricultural sector was a sure way of boosting the state’s internally generated revenue as well as creating job opportunities for the teeming youths in the state.

He also mentioned that his administration was looking into how it can develop more agro based industries especially in areas with comparative advantage of agro products such as cassava and palm oil.

He added that going into agro processing entails creating market linkages which would form a key factor to the success of the agricultural sector in the state.

Delta Steel Company To Commence Full Operation

DeltaDelta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa has said that the multi-billion naira Delta Steel Company, Aladja would commence full operations in 14 months’ time.

He made this revelation while addressing leaders and elders of Delta North Senatorial District (Anioma nation) who paid him a solidarity visit at Government House, Asaba.

According to the Governor when the steel company becomes fully operational, it would add value to his administration’s commitment to job creation for Delta citizens, disclosing that he had a fruitful discussion with the new owners of the company on the revamping of the steel company during the recent India/Africa Business summit he attended with President Muhammadu Buhari in India.

He also believes that in another 12 to 14 months, the DSC would come alive again with many other companies in the state.

While thanking the people of Delta North for their support and show of solidarity to his administration, the Governor urged the people of Anioma to remain united and cooperate with all ethnic nationalities to move the state forward.

He asserted that the leaders must show examples to their followers so as to engender peace in their areas.

Earlier, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, who spoke on behalf of the Anioma people said that their visit was to show solidarity and support to Governor Okowa.

They congratulated him on his victory at the election petition tribunal, observing that Deltans overwhelmingly voted for the Governor.

Senator Nwaoboshi told the Governor that political leaders and their followers in Anioma have resolved to support his administration to realise vision of prosperity for all Deltans.

Delta State Government Debunks Rumours Of Cholera Outbreak

Cholera outbreak in delta stateDelta State Government has debunked rumours of a reported outbreak of Cholera in some parts of the state.

Speaking to reporters on Friday in Asaba, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Sunday Otobo, who led a team of the ministry’s officials, said that there was no confirmed outbreak of cholera in the State but that there were incidents of stooling and vomiting recorded in Aladja and  Udu Local Government Areas.

Dr Otobo explained that various samples had been taken to Lagos for testing and none had been confirmed to be suffering from cholera.

The Permanent Secretary also stated that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa had directed health officers in the 25 local government areas of the State to be proactive in detecting and tackling any outbreak of diseases in all communities.

He  said that the State Governor had also instructed that the water plant in the community be resuscitated and put in use to provide potable drinking water for the community.

A Clean Environment

Governor Okowa said that the State Government had taken measures to ensure that the people of the area were sensitised on the need to keep their environment clean and maintain healthy living standard.

“The Ministry of Environment is also going to mobilise people in Aladja to make sure that environmental policies that will not endanger the health of the people are put in place, so that everybody in the community maintains a clean environment and also find a way of proper disposal of faeces.”

The Permanent Secretary said that the Ministry of Health had a monitoring team on ground in the community to sensitise the people, monitor the situation on ground and report back to the Ministry.

He stated that the health centers in the community had been equipped with drugs to treat the patients.

“Health is a collective responsibility and the government cannot provide everything. Even if the government provides you with clean water, it is your duty to store water in clean containers and importantly, you have to keep your environment clean”, he added.