The Delta State Government has said that the recent fire incident at the Forcados trunk-line was caused by a technical problem, as per preliminary reports.
According to Deputy Governor, Kingsley Otuaro, who spoke to journalists after a stakeholder meeting with protesting host communities and a delegation from Chevron Nigeria Ltd on Saturday, confirmed that the blast had casualties.
“Preliminary reports have it that it was a technical problem that led to the explosion.
The remains of late elder statesman and two-time Governor of Mid-Western State and later Bendel State, Brigadier General Samuel Ogbemudia (rtd), has been laid to rest.
Dr. Ogbemudia was buried at his residence in Ihaya Street, Benin City, following an interdenominational service held at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in the Edo State capital.
A combined team of clergymen from the Christian Association of Nigeria, Edo and Delta chapters took charge of proceedings at the venue.
Family, friends, close associates, past and serving Governors of Edo and Delta states, as well as members of National Assembly and their state counterparts also witnessed the ceremony where they paid their last respects to the two-time Governor.
In a sermon titled “the man and his works”, Bishop Oyonude Kure said the late Ogbemudia by his laudable achievements as an administrator lived an exemplary life worthy of emulation.
Shortly after the sermon there were tributes from former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd), Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki and Deputy Governor of Delta State, Kingsley Otuaro among others.
Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has urged community stakeholders particularly traditional institutions to engage in peace building in their areas for development to thrive.
He made the call at Orerokpe in Okpe Local Government Area during the grand finale of the 10th Coronation Anniversary celebration of Okpe monarch, His Royal Majesty Orhue 1, Orodje of Okpe kingdom.
Governor Okowa said that only a peaceful environment would bring development and investment to the society.
He emphasized the need for traditional institutions to partner with government to ensure peace and security in their domains and the state at large so that investment and development would thrive.
“I want to urge all stakeholders to join hands in ensuring peace and security in our various communities. Today the Okpe kingdom has been relatively peaceful in the last one and half years and this has secured oil activities in this axis,” he said.
He appealed to the youths in the various communities to desist from pipeline vandalism as this has impacted negatively on communities and the state and has also hampered meaningful development in the various oil bearing areas.
“Deltans have suffered enough of pipeline vandalism, we should give peace a chance, it has impacted on us negatively and I think we must desist from it” Governor Okowa maintained.
He thanked the Okpe people for supporting their royal father to maintain the peace in their community and secure the oil facilities in this area.
The Delta State Deputy Governor, Kingsley Otuaro, Delta State House of Assembly members led by the Speaker, Monday Igbuya, as well as former military administrator, Waiter Feghabor, were among the dignitaries at the event.
Residents living around the coastal line in Delta State have been warned to relocate, to avoid being enveloped by the impending flood.
This warning is coming from the Deputy Governor, Kingsley Otuaro, who was reacting to the Federal Government flood alert that coastal states would witness flooding as a result of the gradual release of excess water from Lagdo dam in Cameroon.
Mr Otuaro said that the relocation was necessary to avoid recording high level of casualty when the flood sets in, emphasizing that the state was able to evacuate people to internally displaced person’s camps in 2012 because they yielded to the timely warning by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NIMET.
The Deputy Governor expressed worry with the way some people erect structures on waterways and canals, thereby blocking the waters from flowing into its route.
He advised owners of public and private buildings to embark on clearing of their surroundings and gutters as a deliberate effort to promote good health.
The Deputy Governor equally called on traditional rulers and opinion leaders to assist government to enlighten their people about the impending flood and the need to keep their environment clean to avoid outbreak of diseases like malaria and cholera.
He said that government was committed to the fight against environmental degradation and anything capable of exposing the state to environmental hazard.
The Delta State Government has rolled out six entrepreneurship schemes with an assurance from the State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, that 6,000 direct jobs would be created in the next six months through the schemes.
At the unveiling of the programmes on Tuesday, the State Government listed them as Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP); Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP); Production and Processing Support Programme (PPSP); Tractorisation; Extension of Loans; and Development of Agro-industries.
Addressing the chairman and members of the Traditional Rulers Council in the state, the Governor, who spoke through his deputy, Mr Kingsley Otuaro, said the initiatives would create jobs and wealth, diversify the economy, engage youths in productive enterprises, nurture entrepreneurs and leaders, and promote communal peace and security.
He stressed that the Government was determined and poised to deliver prosperity to everyone in Delta State through the S.M.A.R.T agenda.
Briefing the press, the Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee on job creation and Commissioner-Designate, Dr Kingsley Emu, explained that under the YAGEP scheme, participants across the 25 local government areas would be screened and selected by a team of consultants after which they would undergo one month training at Songhai Farms for life skills, attitudinal change, and hands on management.
The areas of focus, according to Emu, are piggery, poultry, fisheries, and vegetable farming. He revealed that upon completion of the training the participants would proceed on a one-month internship after which they would be given starter packs to start their own farms.