By Mercy Obojeghren
Kwale (Delta), Dec. 29, 2020 The Ndokwa ethnic nationality in Delta on Tuesday blamed politicians and successive leaders for the underdevelopment of their communities despite huge oil and gas explorations in the area.
The group, therefore, resolved at its 2020 General Assembly of Ndokwa Neku Union (NNU) held in Kwale, headquarters of Ndokwa West Local Government Area, to salvage their 35 oil-rich communities that contributed more than 36 million barrels of oil produced in the area in 2019 alone.
The ethnic nationality, comprising Ndokwa East, Ndokwa West, and Ukwuani local government areas, also resolved at the event chaired by the NNU Caretaker Committee Chairman, Dr. Ogaranya Tabowei, to start the process of establishing a University of Petroleum in the area.
Similarly, the assembly amended the union’s constitution to meet with today’s realities, just as Tabowei, paid tributes to the founding fathers and previous executives of the NNU.
He added: “The committee’s ascension into office was conceptualized and delivered in the corridors of the current global effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, which made it difficult for the smooth transfer of then High Chief Opone led NNU Executive to the next generation.
“I see a new NNU where we shall not play second fiddle and remain second class citizens of Delta and Nigeria; where our choice will be given to us unlike now that an insignificant portion is thrown at us.
” I see a new NNU where we shall fight for our oil quantum production and we shall be recognized as having the greatest gas reserves in West Africa. The achievement of these set goals can only be by unity of purpose for united we stand but divided we fall,” he said.
He lamented the under-development of the second largest ethnic group in Delta with insignificant budgetary and project allocations from governments, and “vowed to take every legitimate step to wrest and to secure for themselves, whatever is their due”.
Presenting a paper entitled ‘‘NNU Scripts and Matters Arising Towards Revitalization of the Apex Union’’, Prof. Mabel Osakwe of the Delta State University, Abraka Campus, said that “the essence was anchored on missing a way and braving the odds on a turnaround for purposeful journey”.
Osakwe, who is a pioneer member of the NNU Executive, said: “We are well aware that our apex body the NNU veered off track; we thank God for events that finally saw the need to put us back on course, using a caretaker committee. For us, scripts are like road maps signaling the route that NNU should take, if it must arrive at her desired destination.
”Finally, it is not too late for NNU to pressure for the dedicated fund, which was mentioned in our script, 20 years ago for the urgent and accelerated development of Ndokwa.
“Development committees should be put in place by the NNU, so that knowledgeable professionals and responsible people can contribute to the signing of MOU on gas and petroleum activities ongoing in Ndokwa land for the benefit of all, and a good way of creating jobs for our teeming youths and generating internally generated revenue (IGR),” she said.
She suggested that part of looking inwards was for the Delta State University Ndokwa Forum to put up “a 15-reason paper why a Petroleum University should be sited in Kwale”.