By Onitsha Shedrack, ————- December 3rd, 2016 —————-
A community leader in Emu-Uno, in Ndukwa West local government, Delta State, Chief Azubike Enuma has berated the management of Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, (DESOPADEC), over the N350m largess the agency allocated to Ibori’s University in the 2016 budget, describing it as corruption taken too far.
Controversy has greeted the budget following the public outcry by different stakeholders, including oil producing communities who felt shortchanged because the budget is allegedly skewed to favour some individuals’ interest to the detriment of oil producing communities.
Chief Enuma frown at a situation where the management of DESOPADEC, allocated a whooping N350million to Chief James Ibori, private university, Western Delta University (WDU) as not only sadden, but on heard of in decent society.
He queried why it’s only Ibori’s university and business interest that was captured in the budget, “what of Novena, Michael Ibru and Edwin Clark universities, or are these universities not in Delta or owned by prominent Deltans, why only Ibori’s own?
He also frown at the alleged N350 million quarterly subvention been pumped into Ibori’s Independent Newspapers, to give the paper which is facing financial crisis a life line, stressing that patronage given to Ibori at the detriment of the majority of Deltans must stop.
Chief Enuma stated further that one of the reasons why the budget of the agency is yet be released by the governor for implementation, is as a result of public outcry over the level of injustices embodied in the proposed budget.
According to him, “if DESOPADEC is that generous, their generosity should not only be limited to Chief Ibori, who is one of those that plugged Delta state into its present sorry state, they should also look out for sick business of other Deltans, give them life supports or bailout.”
One of the management staff of the commission, from one of the marginalised ethnic nationalities, who spoke to ADVOCATE, but pleaded for anonymity, noted that if the issues are not speedily addressed, it could lead to a bloody ethnic crisis; adding that it took God intervention for him to grab a copy of the budget and what he saw was more than the padding, but corruption and nepotism.
He also queried the rationale behind allocated 37% of the proposed expenditure as centralized project in the 2016 DESOPADEC budget with Urhobo getting about 50%, out of this, Ibori university alone got N350m out of the N500m, and Oghara where the MD and Ibori comes from, got addition N130m project worth, leaving the entire Urhobo nation with mere N20m worth of projects.
“So, looking at the centralized DESOPADEC, the up roar that the Urhobo nation got over %50 is not correct, because it is actually Ibori and his kinsmen that got N480m worth of projects cited at Oghara.
“Therefore, it is wrong to intereprits it that Urhobo nation got the lion share, rather it was Ibori that was compensated for his invistments in Governor Okowa’s election that Deltans are paying for,” he added.