Okowa Has Been Fair To All Deltans – Mayuku | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


Okowa Has Been Fair To All Deltans – Mayuku

Posted: Sep 14, 2015 at 12:02 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Daniel Omayone Mayuku is A fourth term member representing Warri South-West Constituency in the Delta State House of Assembly (DTHA). Recently, he spoke to a group of journalists on Delta State at 24. Felix Igbekoyi was there. Excerpts:



Delta State recently celebrated her 24th anniversary. Despite the successes recorded so far, there have also been controversies. An exmaple is the amendment to the principal law regulating the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC.  Would you say that the controversy has been rested with the passage and signing into law of the amendment?

Any legislative exercise of public importance which happens to generate intense public interest will always simultaneously generate its fair share of controversy and even avoidable acrimony. I believe it is all part of the democratic process and it is in many ways indicative of a democratic culture that is continuously evolving. It is of course unfortunate that several commentators and interest groups would appear to have become unnecessarily too emotional during the process. We had nevertheless consistently assured them that Governor Okowa meant well with the amendment and that we would end up with a result that will be satisfactory to all those genuinely committed to the welfare of the oil producing communities.

But you cannot pretend that what you passed is not manifestly different from what was sent to the House?

I beg to disagree. What His Excellency sent us was entirely motivated by a desire to reform DESOPADEC for the benefit of the people of the oil producing areas of the state. These are our own citizens who have long suffered neglect and abandonment, economic strangulation and environmental devastation. Everyone in this state is Governor Okowa’s constituent. Everybody’s problem is his problem and it is out of his genuine concern for the welfare of his constituents from the oil producing areas that he brilliantly initiated the amendment proposal by way of an executive bill. To all intents and purposes, what the House has passed is completely in tandem with His Excellency’s vision of a reformed and restructured DESOPADEC capable of effectively impacting the living conditions of our brethren from the oil producing areas. I can assure you that not once did Governor Okowa attempt to influence the House in its deliberations. In fact, he kept his distance in

respecting the time hallowed doctrine of separation of powers. What we have passed is a testament to genuine parliamentary business guided by the overall interest of the electorate. That has been the Governor’s interest all along to see that government works in the interest of the masses and that is why His Excellency has been gracious enough to sign it into law to the surprise of all the doubting Thomases.

Nevertheless, allegations of ethnic agenda abound in the state. Governor Okowa has been accused of favouring his own ethnic enclave and Delta North in general with appointments and projects?

Which projects? Which appointments? The first project he paid for is Sapele Market, a long abandoned project in Delta Central. As someone with the entire state as his one and only constituency, His Excellency was so concerned about the welfare of his constituents from Sapele, who by the way are Okpe and not Ika, that he pleaded with our royal father, His Royal Majesty, Orhue I, CFR, the Orodje of Okpe to keep an eye on the allocation process for stores in the market to ensure that original allotees affected by the fire that destroyed the market are not sidelined or left out in the process. There is absolutely no evidence that Governor Okowa has by any means favoured Ika or Delta North in anyway.

How many projects are in Ika area? How many appointees have come from Ika. What is happening in Delta North compared to what is happening in Delta Central or Delta South?

Not only has the Governor mostly favoured Central and South over Delta North but his fair, just and equitable distribution of appointments and resources are being celebrated by objective commentators from across the state.

How would you assess the independence of the Delta State House of Assembly, DTHA?

Contrary to certain snide and ill-informed comments out there, this is certainly one of the most independent if not the most independent House of Assembly in the country. The facts incontrovertibly indicate that we are not by any means a rubberstamp to the executive arm. Do not forget that we are Deltans and as we say over here: “Delta no dey carry last” The executive arm always provides the first citizen of the state but don’t forget that as a parliament we are the first arm of government being those who make the laws to be executed by the executive and later interpreted by the Judiciary. If you recall, contrary to expectations, we once historically overturned an executive veto with regards to the prescription of the death penalty for kidnapping in last dispensation. With regards to the DESOPADEC amendment, what we are witnessing is an absolutely free legislature partnering with a non-interfering executive arm to deliver the dividends of democracy

in this state. The fact that the House in her own wisdom decided to expunged “Ika ethnic nationality” from the DESOPADEC Amendment Bill, bears eloquent testimony of her independence. Hence, I must celebrate Governor Okowa for demonstrating his democratic disposition as exemplified by his commendable non-interference in the entire process.

The Delta EPZ project which happens to be in your constituency has been generating a lot of controversy. Is it that it is impossible for Ijaws and Itsekiris to live and work together in peace?

Ijaws and Itsekiris have always been capable of working together in peace, just as we all live and work together in peace, amity, cooperation and peaceful coexistence with our Urhobo brothers and sisters as well as other ethnic nationalities. This is no longer the era of saber rattling on either side but a time for us all to come together for our common good. The EPZ project is well on course and we already have an agreed template for the successful fruition of the project. This is a project that will be of eventual benefit to Delta State, Nigeria and the world at large and absolutely nothing should be allowed to truncate the process. We may have had our differences in Warri but as far as I am concerned this EPZ project has the remarkable potential of bringing all of us together rather than further tearing us apart.