By Mary Temewei
Traditional rulers of Delta state have tasked the Delta State Government to remedy the issue of oil pollution caused by the oil multinational companies in oil-producing communities.
This was stated by the chairman of the Traditional Rulers Council of the Ijaw ethnic nationality, HRM. Capt. Joseph Timiyan, Torububou I, the Obenanaowei of Ogulagha which was made available to Congress correspondent in Abuja.
HRM Timiyan, speaking during the visit of the Special Adviser to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on Rural and Community Development, Rt Hon Emmanuel Okoro to his palace, said pollution from oil spills and destruction of illegal refineries has made life unbearable for the indigenous population, especially in eking out a living.
The monarch reiterated that efforts be made to prevail on the management of oil multinational companies and security operatives in the area in order to find cleaner ways to dispose of seized illegal refineries instead of blowing them up.
The traditional ruler harped for equitable distribution of developmental projects across the state.
The Special Adviser, Mr Okoro, in his response, asserted that the determination of the State Government to carry the people at the grassroots level along with in the governance of the State.
The SA added that his visit to the Ijaw ethnic nationality was in line with the smart agenda and prosperity for all Deltans vision of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration.
“in executing that task, my team is to specifically identify the broad development agenda of the Ijaw ethnic nationality and also to advice the governor in that regard.
“The visit is also to improve Community participation in government policies and programmes, to promote active and representative participation to ensure community members meaningfully contribute to decision making and also to involve grassroots population through consultation.
“The benefits of this meeting is to take good governance to the grassroots and addressing the needs of the communities in terms of infrastructure and economic empowerments and also by building a stronger Delta, for the socio-economic, political, environmental and cultural sustainability of the present and future generations of Deltans in this last tenure of this administration.”
The President of the Ijaw National Congress, Prof. Benjamin Okaba, applauded the State Government feedback mechanism, stressing; “feedback is a critical tool for ensuring that governance flows from top to bottom.
INC president reiterated that despite being the fourth largest ethnic group in Nigeria and the second largest in the state, the Ijaw nation has been largely marginalized in terms of human and capital development.