Deputy Governor of Delta State, Deacon Kingsley Burutu Otuaro insists the Federal Government (FG) will soon dialogue with oil bearing Itsekiri, Ijaw, Urhobo, Isoko, Ndokwa and Ika communities within Delta State over demands including Marginal Oil Fields.
The Itsekiri, Ijaw, Urhobo economic groups and militants, last week, complained they have neither heard from the Delta State Government to which they listened and shelved disruption of oil operations nor the Federal Government which promised dialogue. The Ndokwa people last week reportedly blocked the Asaba-Kwale-Ughelli dual carriage way for several hours while Ijaw youths of Gbaramatu Kingdom threatened to block the waterways aimed at frustrating movement of oil workers and hence operations, to protest the FG adamance.
But, Otuaro, in a statement made available to newsmen on Sunday by Bulou Kosin, his Senior Special Assistant on Press and Communication, noted: “First, the Federal Government has clearly stated it would not allow the ongoing agitations to escalate into bigger problems. That was the take of the Abuja meeting I was invited to. So representatives of the oil communities will be invited and discussions will hold in stages for the mutual benefit of all stakeholders. Only last week, the Federal Government sought information from the Delta State Government that will assist the process while giving indication it was putting together its relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies that will be part of the engagement”.
“So I assure that our wait won’t be long or endless. Like I have said before, a results-oriented dialogue is a process, not an event and preparations for same have begun. If I was not myself convinced, I would not sustain my appeals to the communities”, Otuaro assured.
“I must thank the oil bearing communities in Delta State for listening to appeals of the Delta State Government to exercise restraint and surrender to the coming dialogue table where problems get resolved. In Africa, we say “patience can cook a stone”. A Sudanese proverb says “patience is the key that solves all problems”. So let’s be a little more patient”, Otuaro pleaded.
“I want the oil communities to know I am equally involved in the pains. This is why in my earlier appeals, I noted it was unconscionable to abandon the oil communities’ demands which I insisted were legitimate. With a little more patience, we’ll get to the dialogue table where Almighty God is able to melt any heart of stone that may be. Nonviolence, I hold, is the more courageous path to success on these historic and fundamental demands”, the Deputy Governor cautioned.