THE Itsekiri ethnic nationality in Delta State yesterday vowed to resist any attempt to divert funds meant for development of their communities under the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC).
In a peaceful protest to the state House of Assembly in Asaba, the Itsekiri nation under the aegis if Host Communities Oil and Gas (HOSTCOM) decried that the 2016 budgetary provision of N600 million was against the purpose for which the commission was established.
The protesters who carried placards with inscription such as ‘DESOPADEC money is for development’, ‘Itsekiri say do not use security vote to syphon our money’, ‘Mr. Speaker use our money for development not security’, chanted Itsekiri songs.
The state chairman of HOSTCOM, Mr. Benjamin Iwetan said the commission’s money was meant for the development of oil producing communities, urging the House to appropriate the N600 million properly for the development of the communities.
“Our money cannot be appropriated for security. If properly utilized, this money can assist to take some of our unemployed youths from the Labour market. Security votes cannot be drawn from DESOPADEC; this the peoples fishing and farm right,” he said.
Addressing the protesters, Speaker of the House, Mr. Monday Igbuya said the House would look into their agitation, saying that the budget was still under consideration in preparation for passage.