The Movement for the Survival of Niger Delta People (MOSOND) has thrown its weight behind elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark for petitioning the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against former Governor of Delta State, Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa over mismanagement of 13 per cent crude oil derivation funds meant for the development of the oil producing communities in Delta State in the last 8 years.
MOSOND was responding to a set of youth leaders who had led a delegation to the Chairman of the Delta State Traditional Rulers Council, HRM Felix Mujakperuo, the Ovie of Okpe Kingdom, on the need to summon an emergency meeting of all traditional rulers in the State to appeal to Chief Edwin Clark to cease fire on his call for the probe of Okowa.
MOSOND in a press statement signed by its publicity secretary, Dr. Sebastine Agbefe, said “the so-called youths are not just grandfathers and old men parading themselves as youths’ leaders, but also aides of the former Governor who enjoyed patronage from siphoning the funds of the oil producing communities.”
MOSOND, while declaring its support for the elder statesman and leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), challenged the Oredje of Okpe to mention any landmark project executed by former Governor Okowa in Okpe Kingdom in the last 8 years. MOSOND advised against any unnecessary interference or distraction of Chief Clark, noting that the people of Delta State are solidly behind him and shall not tolerate any move to truncate the calls for the probe of Okowa’s stewardship.
The group called on the EFCC and ICPC to as a matter of urgency invite Okowa for questioning, and where found wanting, prosecute him to give justice to the impoverished and cheated people of the crude oil producing communities of Delta State. It added that the only recipe for peace is justice.
The statement reads, “We have watched with utmost disappointment the charade put together by former Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, wherein, a group of self-acclaimed youth leaders of the various ethnic nationalities of Delta state approached the chairman of the Delta State Traditional Rulers Council, the Orodje of Okpe, to convoke a meeting of all traditional rulers in the state, with a view of having a meeting with the National leader of PANDEF,
Pa Edwin Clark, and appeal to him not to proceed on his quest for accountability from the immediate past governor of Delta state, whom he referred to as a criminal and petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate over misappropriation of 13 per cent oil derivation funds belonging to the host communities during his term as Governor.
“The youths in their submission reiterated the need for peaceful coexistence of Deltans as the fulcrum of their visit to the monarch.
“First of all, at a glance one could easily tell that these are grandparents and selfish old men masquerading as youth leaders. Therefore, they should not be taken seriously because they have only spoken in defense of their stomachs.
“It is also important to note that everyone of them who spoke at that politically motivated meeting were political appointees of the immediate past Governor, whom the elder statesman and Deltans are asking to be probed. They aided and connived with Okowa to siphon funds belonging to the people of Delta State. The results of their ungodly action is the alarming rate of poverty, underdevelopment, insecurity, restiveness, and the likes across the State.
“In saner climes, these self-acclaimed youth leaders and their paymaster, Okowa ought to have been arrested and thoroughly investigate for the roles they played in impoverishing Deltans. This is why we are calling on EFCC and ICPC to urgently arrest Okowa and his allies to explain how they spent the 13 per cent crude oil derivation funds paid by the Federal Government to oil producing states in the last 8 years. The people of Delta State, particularly those of the oil producing communities are solidly behind our leader, Pa Edwin Clark. No traditional ruler should try to subvert justice, as such will amount to a disservice to the people of Delta State.
“May we also state that the intention of the earliest founders and leaders of youth bodies and organizations in the Niger Delta was to enable her leadership speak on behalf of the people and to call governments attention in the direction of development. It was never envisaged that a day would come when youth leaders would become puppets or political aides to Governors who are ripping off the masses. What a shame on the path of the so-called youth leaders!
“Pa Edwin Clark and every other Deltan who has called for the probe of Governor Okowa over the misappropriation of funds accrued to the state under him as Governor should not listen to those traditional rulers should they embark on any move to stall the ongoing agitation for justice under the guise of seeking peaceful coexistence amongst Deltans. If the so-called youth leaders and traditional rulers want us to live in peace with one another they should first advocate for justice. After all, during the January 1972 World Day of Peace celebrations, Pope Paul VI said, ‘If you want peace, work for justice.’
“It is sad to note that Delta State is unarguably the most underdeveloped state in the Niger Delta region despite the huge allocation received from the federation’s account monthly. There are no roads, pipe borne water and social amenities. Our people are living in slums whereas a very few people in government are carting away monies meant for the development of the state. This is unacceptable and we cannot continue to stomach this level of high-handedness by elected office holders.”
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