OPEN LETTER TO THE HONOURABLE SPEAKER, DELTA STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY, ASABA
11th June 2019.
CONGRATULATIONS AND SAVE OUR SOUL, SOS, TO THE SEVENTH DELTA STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
On behalf of the Riverine Communities of Nigeria, Delta State Chapter, I, the National Coordinator, Comrade Mulade Sheriff congratulate you, Chief Sheriff Oborevwori , on your re-election as the Speaker of the Seventh Assembly of the Delta State Legislature. This is an eloquent testimony of your credibility and the confidence reposed in you by members of the House.
I equally congratulate all distinguished Honourable members of the House for your successful inauguration as well as the leadership of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP in the State.
The Delta State Chapter of the Riverine Communities of Nigeria, hereby pledge to support you in your new assignment. We are very proud to be associated with you and we pledge our unflinching support for the success of your tenure as Speaker.
We, the Riverine Communities in Delta State use this medium to urge you to bring your wealth of experience to bear on your new assignment by making people-oriented laws that will develop the State and benefit the common man, and also support the SMART Agenda of the Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa for a greater and stronger Delta State.
We, therefore, strongly appeal and request for the urgent consideration of the peoples’ Bill for the establishment of Coastal Areas Development Agency, CADA. The people believe strongly that such an agency will enhance the development of riverine communities across the Urhobo, Ijaw, Isoko, Itsekiri and Ukwuani ethnic nationalities in the coastal areas of the State.
Coastal communities are the engine room of the economy of Delta State due to the huge oil and gas revenue they generate, yet their state of development is sorrowful due to age-long neglect.
Areas worst hit include Iyede – Ame, Onogboko, Ofagbe (Isoko), Assah, Gbaregolo, Okwagbe, Esaba etc (Urhobo), Ase, Aboh, Ashaka etc (Ukwuani), Ogulagha, Egbema and Gbaramatu kingdoms, as well as Burutu, Bomadi, Patani, (Ijaw), Omadino, Ugborodo, Ogidigben, Gbokoda, Bateren, etc (Itsekiri).
At a recent forum with the Delta State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, the Governor promised to develop the riverine communities. When it is created, CADA will help to implement and monitor all projects that will fast track the development of the riverine communities.
It is imperative to state that the creation of the agency will bridge the gap between government and the coastal people beyond the tenure of our amiable Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.
The following will be the benefits of the agency to the riverine communities and Delta State at large:
1). It will help to engender growth and fast-track development, create a sense of belonging among the riverine communities in Delta State.
2). It will help to bring the government of Delta State closer to the people. The distance caused by the riverine terrain tends to alienate the people from the government at the center.
3). The people will have a sense of belonging and ownership, and thus ensure that the funds allocated for the development of their communities are used judiciously.
4). lt will help to correct wrong impressions about the development funds from the State Government, as lies will be minimised since the communities will be partners in the process of developing the coastal areas.
5). The creation of CADA will help to create jobs, as people from the environment will work as staff of the agency.
6). CADA will also help to promote peace within the riverine communities and reduce conflicts with the IOCs in the region.
7). It will also help to boost oil and gas production in the region. This will translate into a win-win situation for the Federal and Delta State Governments.
8) The creation of CADA will help to increase and boost our marine economy of the state
9). The creation of the agency for the riverine communities will forever be associated with the Okowa administration, and his name will be written in gold in the hearts of Deltans, particularly those from the coastal areas.
10). Finally, the creation of a Coastal Development Agency will help in the implementation of Government’s physical, infrastructural and non-infrastructural development policies for the riverine people in Delta State.
As people waiting to see a stronger Delta State, we believe that the Rt. Hon Sheriff Oborevwori will be committed to moving the state forward, and we pray God to grant you the wisdom to pilot the affairs of the Seventh Assembly.
It is worthy of note that our amiable and dynamic Governor, Sen Dr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa can no longer wait for too long to assents to the first peoples’ Bill that will establish CADA to fast track the development of coastal communities from the 7th Assembly.
We , therefore, strongly appeal to the conscience of the members of the 7th Assembly to, as a matter of urgency, with priority for peaceful and stronger Delta State, consider the passage of the Bill.
Congratulations once again.
Comrade Mulade Sheriff, National Coordinator and Sponsor of the Riverine Communities of Nigeria, Delta State Bill for the Creation of CADA.
Cc All Honourable Members of Delta State House of Assembly, Asaba.