The people of Diebiri-Batan, a major oil producing community in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State, have protested over alleged neglect of its indigenes in the distribution of appointments into the Board of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, (DESOPADEC)
Speaking to newsmen in Warri, leaders of the protesting Diebiri-Batan Community alleged that since the inception of DESOPADEC, other major Ijaw communities, with the exception of Diebiri-Batan, have produced either a Commissioner, Executive Director or Chairman of the Board, contrary to the internal rotational formula for sharing appointments.
In a petition to the State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, the protesters wondered why they would be shortchanged in the recent appointments by the State Government when it was their turn to be appointed as Commissioner into the DESOPADEC Board.
Spokesperson for the community, Dickson Ogugu, an engineer, urged the State Government to right the wrong, describing the exclusion of a Diebiri-Batan indigene from the Board of DESOPADEC, as an “abnormality.”
The protesters said equity demands that Diebiri-Batan should be part of government after supporting and voting massively for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and vowed to use all constitutional means to correct the alleged neglect and marginalization.
The community noted that Diebiri-Batan oil production quota was separate from that of any other community or kingdom, and advised the government and the public to disregard any contrary claim.
Some other leaders of Diebiri-Batan lamented its neglect in terms of appointments and infrastructural projects, and the total lack of government presence in the community, in spite of its enormous quantity of oil production.
They called on the State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa to consider their demand as they intend to pursue the issue to its logical conclusion.