By Godwin Utuedoye,
Isoko Nation in Delta State have rejected the one percent budgetary allocation to it in the state 2018 budget and passed a “vote of no confidence” on Governor Ifeanyi Okowa over what they termed, “gross marginalization and shortchanging of the Isoko interest in the 2018 budget.”
They also passed a “vote of no confidence” on their (Isoko) representatives in the Delta State House of Assembly including Johnson Erijo, Orezi Esievo and all appointees in the Okowa led administration for the same reason for their failure to protect Isoko interest in the government.
The vote of no confidence is contained in a Communique jointly signed after an emergency meeting of the group by Hon. Urude Barthlomew, Comrade Erirefe Celestine Ureigho, President and Secretary, Isoko Brains Initiative of and Comrade Christian Appah on behalf of the and Isoko Monitoring Group on behalf of the Isoko Nation.
The groups faulted the budgetary allocation to Isoko nation by Governor Okowa in the 2018 Delta state budget, stressing that the governor and their representatives has failed the people, therefore they have lost confidence on them.
The communiqué reads in part: “Is it a pitiable situation for Isoko nation despite her contributions to the nation’s economy and overwhelmed support for Governor Okowa in the 2015 election, only to turn around a stab us at the back.”
“Out of a capital budget of N161,614,568,997 in the Delta State 2018 budget passed by the state legislature and signed into law by Governor Okowa, what Isoko nation could get as a whole was a meager N4, 571, 000,000 which is 1%.
“The Isoko nation has therefore rejected the budget in its entirety because it does not reflect our interest in any way. It is a pity Isoko stooges in the Okowa led administration could not do anything when the broad day light robbery was taking place.”
While lamenting the continued shortchanging of Isoko nation by the Okowa led administration since inception, the group enjoined all Isoko sons and daughters to use their PVCs to do the needful and vote only those who will have the interest of the Isoko nation at heart.
Meanwhile, the Isoko Monitoring Group has noted in a statement signed by its President, Sebastine Agbefe, that Isoko ethnic nationality which contributes 28% of crude oil and gas to the nation’s economy is the largest onshore producer of crude oil in Nigeria, stressing that as such deserved more than enough in the State 2018 budget rather than the gross marginalization and inhuman shortchange melted out to them.
“The 2018 budget of the Delta State government pegged at approximately 161billion naira has only 4.5 billion naira (1%) 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.
“The Isoko Monitoring Group therefore passed a vote of no confidence on governor Okowa and his administration, the members representing Isoko in the state Assembly, Johnson Erijo, Orezi Esievo and all Isoko sons and daughters in the Okowa administration who failed to protect the interest of our people in the budget.
All men of goodwill who believe in Isoko must 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 called on all Isoko indigenes, professionals, artisans, students, women, youths and clergy to be on the 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.”