The Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has regretted that the Oil Producing Communities in Imo State have largely been neglected by the federal government and noted that the time has come for the Communities Concerned to receive adequate attention like their Counterparts in other States.
Prof. Osinbajo spoke in Owerri while on a one-day working visit to the State on Tuesday, February 14, 2017, informing that he had come at the instance of President Mohammadu Buhari to consult with Stakeholders in the Oil Producing Communities of the Niger-Delta region which Imo State is one of them.
Prof. Osinbajo had also gone to the Egbema Gas Plant on inspection and after assessing the facility assured that the Federal Government would ensure that the facility would work to serve the purpose for which it was installed in the first place stressing that Power is key to the development of the area.
His words “the Oil Producing Communities in Imo have a lot of vibrant young men and women who must be carried along in the scheme of things. My interaction today with those concerned has given the government the opportunity to discuss with people directly involved with a view of making sure that there is justice and even development across the Niger Delta Communities”.
He assured that Imo State would get its fair share of federal projects because of its importance to the APC Federal Government.
Governor Rochas Okorocha in his speech said, “the theory and songs of marginalization cannot be sang better by any other ethnic group than the Igbos in this present dispensation. We have nothing absolutely to show, neither do we have any serious sense of belonging in the present government at the National level”.
Okorocha continued, “I know you are the acting President and has the ears of the President. Sometimes we Christians don’t go to God direct, we go through his son Jesus Christ. So there is no better person to tell our painful story than you. You need to take a second look at what is happening in the South-East. No serious Political appointment, no visible federal infrastructure so far, to show the presence of Federal Government in Imo State and South-East in general. I beg that as the government gives subsequent appointments, let the qualified sons and daughters of the State be Considered. Those in business be considered for federal patronage”.
The governor also stated that “Imo State played major role in bringing APC to Power because if what had taken place in other States was allowed to happen in Imo State and other States in the South-East, probably we wouldn’t have had the APC government today”.
The governor also prayed that the dilapidated skill acquisition Centre in Ohaji be changed to University of Niger-Delta to help bring about lasting peace in the area, while the Gas Plant at Egbema should be made to work to help in industrializing the area.
He added, “Given the roles that I played as a sacrificial lamb in the South-East during the elections, my State deserves more. There is no federal government presence in the Oil Producing areas, and none benefitted from the Federal Government Amnesty Programme. I also ask for the quick refund of the money spent by the State on Imo International Cargo Airport and on some federal roads in the State”.
Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu in his speech promised that he would assist the State recover their lost oil wells.
In the Acting President’s entourage were the Minister of Transport, Chief Rotimi Amaechi, Prof. Anthony Anwuka (Minister of State for Education), Mr. Ibe Kachikwu (Minister of State for Petroleum), and Pastor Usani Uguru (Minister for Niger Delta).