By Eseoghene Emuke
The Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) has described as ‘lie from the pit of hell’ social media reports that the commission has approved pension for former Managing Director and chairmen of the interventionist agency.
It said the alleged reports were being sponsored by newly formed opposition groups to blackmail the commission and its current leadership for self-serving interest of those behind the groups.
In a statement signed by the Special Adviser (Media & Communication) to the MD/CEO, DESOPADEC, Mr Sunny Areh, noted that the campaign of calumny against the Bashorun Askia Ogieh-led board has already failed on arrival.
The statement stressed that the Bashorun Ogieh-led DESOPADEC board remained determined to meet the developmental yearnings of oil bearing communities in the state and no amount of frivolous allegations will deter the commission in achieving its set goals.
It clarified that the allegation by the social media reports that the commission management has approved life pension for past Chairmen and Managing Directors of the Commission with a monthly payment of N5million was not lie but allegation that runs afoul of provisions of the DESOPADEC Act
According to it, ““It has come to the attention of the management of Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) that some disgruntled elements and newly formed opposition groups have planned to launch a campaign of calumny and blackmail against the Commission, using some local tabloids and social media platforms.
“These individuals have already concocted mischievous and malicious lies from the pit of hell to tarnish the image of the Commission and to hoodwink the gullible public, particularly indigenes of the oil bearing communities which fall within the mandate areas of the commission.
“One of such lies being peddled is that the Commission amongst many other frivolous allegations, illegally approved life pension for past Chairmen and Managing Directors of the Commission with a monthly payment of N5million contrary to the provisions of the DESOPADEC Act.
“They also claim that the monthly payment includes; ‘cost of maintenance and sustenance of four policemen as security, driver and secretary including a new model heavy jeep and a Toyota Hilux pick-up which are replaced with new ones every three years.’”
While, urging Deltans especially members of oil bearing communities to disregard the “fabricated, outrageous lies that could only have come from detractors who never meant well for the well-being of the people of the oil bearing areas”, noted that there is no iota of truth in the reports.
Reemphasizing the commission’s quest to deliver on its mandate, Areh posited that “The Board and Management advises the public to discountenance all such malevolent claims aimed at smearing and maligning the image and reputation of the Commission while also assuring all Deltans, particularly those from the mandate areas of the Commission that the current DESOPADEC Board will continue to do all within its power in positively impacting the lives of our people and achieving the desired objectives of a Stronger Delta.”