Delta State Deputy Governor, Barr. Kingsley Otuaro
Delta State Deputy Governor, Barr. Kingsley Otuaro, has warned that the state government under the leadership of Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa will not tolerate any form of unwanted disturbance by any community across the state.
Barr. Otuaro who stated this recently in a meeting while wading into the crisis between management of SETRACO Nig Ltd and Gbaregolor community over operational positions, in his office Asaba, noted that government will not hesitate to invoke the full weight of the law on communities involved in the breach of peace, law and order in their town.
The state deputy governor who was represented by the Deputy Chief of Staff Government House, Hon. Steve Eruotor, noted that one components in the SMART agenda of this administration is to build peace across the state irrespective of ethnic divides. He noted that the meeting was to find lasting peace in the employment and retrenchment of some indigenes of Gbaregolor community into SETRACO company.
According to him, the present administration under the leadership of Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa believes in equity, fare play and justice. He added that nobody will be short changed and no one will be intimidated, asserting that it is a government of transparency were people’s rights and opinions will be respected. He noted that the decision of the community in pressurising the company to sack some indigenes and replace them with others was unhealthy and affirmed that the action lack merit.
The state deputy governor noted that the state government expressed displeasure over crisis that continue to erupt between communities and companies operating in their area, saying this has led to the relocation of companies from the state overtime.
According to him; “Seven, eight, ten years ago Delta State was booming with various companies, because of this same attitude of company and community clashes, a lot of companies has relocated to others state of the federation. This administration would want to encourage foreign companies, investors, multi-nationals to relocate back to Delta so that the state will begin to boom once more”. Barr Otuaro stated.
Barr. Otuaro advised the Chairman of Ughelli South Local Government Area, the President General of Gbaregolor Community and the management of SETRACO Nig Ltd to as a matter of urgency to set up a meeting between them and draw up a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, between SETRACO company and the Gbaregolor community, while those standing in employment of the company should retain their position, because they are staff of SETRACO.
He instructed that the MoU between the community and the company when duly reached should be brought back to government for proper recognition. Noting that the MoU should also pacify the number of years indigence recommended by the community should work with the company before others can come in on rotational basis according to the wish of the people.
He asserted that the state government is poised to ensuring that a conducive atmosphere is created for companies to operate in Delta State, and appealed to the various communities to maintain peace and create a conducive atmosphere for these companies to operate.
The President General of Gbaregolor community, Mr. Benson Omorovwo said the call for the retrenchment of the four staff of SETRACO who are indigenes of the community to replace them with others was based on the collective wish of the people and stakeholders, noting that it is was intended towards spreading the empowerment to others.
Mr. Omorovwo said the affected workers were employed few years ago base on the recommendation of the community, arguing that the affected workers were use to replace others that were working with the company initially.
The Public Relation Officer, SETRACO Nig. Ltd in charge of Niger Delta, Chief Godspower Opuromo, asserted that the company has invested money into the training of the four staff from Gbaregolor community and has employed them as skilled workers into company arguing that the community cannot pressurised SETRACO to sack staff who did not err or act at variance with the rules and regulations of the company.
The Chairman of Ughelli South Local Government Area, Hon. Paul Etaga commended the state government for its timely intervention into the crisis, emphasising that the issue would have led to loss of lives and other valuables.
Hon. Etaga disclosed that a similar ugly incident occurred some years back that claimed several lives and pledged to ensure that the MoU will be reached by both parties in order to ensure peace order and development to reign in the local government.