By Onitsha Shedrack, Delta—– October 4th, 2016 —————
Senator representing Delta Central Senatorial District, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege has stated that the focus of the current effort to address the Niger Delta crisis is to develop the oil bearing and impacted communities and not individuals, as it was in the past where government interventions ended in people’s pockets.
Omo-Agege stated this, while addressing journalist at Ughelli Kingdom hall, Ughelli, Delta State, after a closed door meeting organized by Host Community of Oil and Gas, HOSTCOM with other stakeholders from Urhobo nation, including Ex-agitators, President-Generals and youths groups.
He noted that the purpose of the meeting is to review the current agitation in the Niger Delta, adding that the Urhobos as an ethnic nationality in the Niger Delta want to take a common position, because it is the Urhobos that knows their pains.
He stated further that though there is Niger Delta interest, so also is the Urhobo interest. And as the Senator representing the Urhobo nation, his single mandate is to protect the Niger Delta interest which must now be situated within the Urhobo interest.
According to Sen. Omo-Agege, the Urhobos as a nation are not happy with the current spate of bombings in the Niger Delta, “we are not happy with it and we believe that we require dialogue to be able to bring this to some form of resolution.
“We believe that the President needs to be encouraged. We believe it would create an enabling environment for him to come and develop the area and thus opportunity should be given before he is been condemned as even God did not even condemn without given him a hearing.
From the very time the man became President, there has been a concerted effort to deprive him of the opportunity to even show his hand on how he is going to develop the Niger Delta. We are not part of that and we do not accept it.
“Those who are behind these bombings have their grievances and I believe these grievances could be channeled through proper communication with the federal government and I mean through their elected representatives.
“We the Urhobos do not need anybody to tell Mr. President what the Urhobos want, that is the reason they elected me. I am their mouthpiece. I have a one on one with Mr. President and I do not need anyone to tell him what we need and that is why we called this meeting.
“We felt we should sit down, take a common position which we would present to Mr. President. We want to develop Urhobo land, we do not want individuals developed, and we want the communities developed. For too long, forms of development have come to or through individuals. We do not want that anymore as these individuals would come and go but the community would remain and that’s the essence of this meeting.” He added.