ASABA- DEPUTY Governor of Delta State, Deacon Kingsley Burutu Otuaro, has asked aggrieved oil-bearing Itsekiri, Ijaw, Urhobo, Isoko, Ndokwa, Egbema, Ika ethnic nationalities and agitators in the state to exercise “little more patience”, as Federal Government was putting in place mechanism for result-oriented dialogue.
The ethnic nationalities and agitators, protesting underdevelopment and inclusion in the marginal oil fields in their areas, had weeks ago, given the Federal Government separate ultimatums to address their demands.
They complained few days ago that they had neither heard from the Delta state government, which prevailed on them to shelve disruption of oil operations nor the federal government that promised dialogue.
Last weekend, Ndokwa people laid siege to the Asaba-Kwale-Ughelli dual carriageway for several hours, while Ijaw youths of Gbaramatu Kingdom threatened to barricade the waterways to frustrate movement of oil workers over government’s apparent adamant posture.
But, Otuaro, in a statement made available to Vanguard, Monday, 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 you that our wait will not be long or endless. Like I have said before, a result-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.
“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 us be a little more patient’
“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 will 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.