As the Isoko nation continues to express mixed feelings about the Delta state 2018 budget following what they called marginalization of the area in the budget, a pan-Isoko pressure group, Isoko Monitoring Group, (IMG), has kicked against what it termed the meagre money appropriated for Isoko nation in the budget signed into law by governor Ifeanyi Okowa, saying it was an act of deliberate shortchange of Isoko nation.
The Isoko pressure group rising from its enlarged emergency meeting on Tuesday at Ivrogbo-Irri, Isoko South local government area of the state passed a vote of no confidence on governor Ifeanyi Okowa and representatives of Isoko in the state house of Assembly, Johnson Erijo, Orezi Esievo, Tim Owhefere and all appointees in the Okowa led administration who could not help the situation when their people were been marginalized and shortchanged.
In a communique signed by the Isoko Monitoring Group President, Comrade Sebastine Agbefe, said Isoko ethnic nationality which contributes 28% of crude oil and gas to the nations economy is the largest onshore producer of crude oil in Nigeria as such deserved more than enough in the state 2018 budget rather than the gross marginalization and inhuman shortchange melted out to them.
“The meeting was called out of time and tradition on account of the details of the Delta State Budget of 2018 approved and passed into law by the Delta State House of Assembly for execution by the Delta State Government which came into the groups possession by sheer providence.” stressing that the group studied the document and its extant implications for the living people, memory of the dead Isoko heroes and the future of the Isoko ethnic nationality and came to a conclusion that governor Okowa does not have the interest of the Isoko at heart.
“The 2018 budget of the Delta State government pegged at approximately 161billion naira has only 4.5 billion naira (2.8%) earmarked for mushroom projects in the Isoko areas while other areas of the state received the bulk of capital expenditures from the budget. The relationship between the government of Governor Okowa and the Isoko nation is that of a very wicked stepmother and her stepchild.”
IMG therefore called on all men of goodwill who believe in Isoko to rise up to condemn governor Ifeanyi Okowa and his government for the “stepchild like maltreatment of the Isoko ethnic nationality by his government.”
The group further called on all Isoko indigenes, professionals, artisans, students, women, youths and clergy to be on alert stating that “the Isoko Monitoring Group will in a very short time and at a very short notice call for mass action against the government of Governor Okowa and his accomplices at home until the injustices perpetrated against our people is redressed.”