Delta leaders under the auspices of The People’s Movement Tuesday criticized members of the Ndokwa Youth Elite Forum (NYEF) who recently exhibited their negative obsession with the person of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan in a petition to President Goodluck Jonathan, saying their actions and activities smack of vendetta, sheer blackmail and hidden agenda to destabilize the state.
The leaders also described the youths as misguided, misinformed and brainwashed individuals hired by the opposition to foment trouble in the state .
“ His Excellency is performing and the people are fully behind him" the leaders said in a statement by the Director of Communications of The People’s Movement, Mrs. Ibifuro Tatua.
Maintaining that the governor’s approach and style may not have impressed some new generation rabble rousers and political jobbers who see politics as a cake-sharing vocation, the leaders said the petition was a malicious one aimed at tarnishing the image, personality, character and hard-earned integrity of the governor.
“The executive governor is not reckless as projected by the youths.”
The Ndokwa youths, according to the leaders, were clueless about the activities of the commission and the realities on ground .
Noting the hypocrisy and the poverty of the criticism, the leaders stated that DESOPADEC was set up to rehabilitate, rejuvenate and resuscitate the peoples and communities of the oil producing areas of Delta State.
They stressed that a total of N149bn was released to oil-producing communities in the state through the Commission to enable it perform and fulfill its mandate to the people as well as for development projects in the last five years.
“Delta was not misusing the derivation fund, as 50 per cent of it had been allocated to DESOPADEC.” The leaders said.
They also said top Nigerians and foreigners had applauded the Delta State governor for ensuring economic transformation of the riverine communities, re-building the destroyed and neglected cities of the military crisis of May 13th, 2009 and training of Deltans at home and abroad through its scholarship scheme.
“ The commission has since been recording laudable results in terms of development” the leaders said.
DESOPADEC, the leaders further stated, awarded 1664 projects in the 19 local government areas which form its areas of jurisdiction between 2007 till date.
“Out of these projects, 347 were cited in Itsekiri, 424 in Ijaw, 455 in Urhobo, 305 in Isoko and 115 in Ndokwa areas”
Recalling the achievements of the commission, the leaders said in July, 2009, the people of Beneku in Ndokwa East Council Area commended the State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan for his progrramme of development in the State, especially on the restoration of Ferry Services to the community for the crossing of goods and services to and from Beneku community.
They said a team of Americans, led by the Political and Economic Officer of the American Embassy in Nigeria, Helena P. Schrader in January, 2010 visited DESOPADEC in Warri and commended the commission’s efforts, particularly in the renovation of police staff quarters at "A" Division, Warri, Miller Water side road, Warri Club Jetty, DEOPADEC head office complex, completed blocks of classrooms and laboratory at Hussey College, Cavagina Primary School block of classrooms, Omatshola Primary School block of classrooms, and block of class rooms at Our Ladys College, Effurun amongst others.
Emphasizing that Governor Uduaghan and members of his cabinet were responsible, accountable and focused , the leaders called on the people to discard such infamous insinuation and concentrate on those noble objectives that can help reposition the state.
They appealed to members of NYEF to look critically inwards with a view to removing the log in their eyes.
The leaders also appealed to the Chairman of the Itsekiri oil and gas producing communities, Prince Ikenwoli Emiko and others to see the renovation of Police Barracks in Warri and Warri Club by the commission as part of the social responsibilities of the commission and settle the matter amicably.