A week after staff of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, embarked on a peaceful protest over poor working conditions, members of the Delta State House of Assembly have given their support to the staff.
In a meeting with selected representatives of staff in Ughelli, member House Committee on DESOPADEC, Hon. Bar. Samuel Mariere said the agitations of staff of the Commission were legitimate and have his support, stressing that with the condition of service of the Commission specifying the payment of the end of year bonus, the management of the Commission has no option than to pay it.
He urged staff to be peaceful in their demand and continue to engage the management of the Commission, noting that little can be done now that the House is on break but assured them that once the House resumes, he will table the matter or draw the attention of the members of the Committee to it.
In a separate interview, Hon. Michael Diden also urged staff to be peaceful as they agitate for quick response to their demands.
Also, there are indications that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa may have lampooned DESOPADEC Board members at a meeting in Asaba over the weekend.
Our source revealed that after the meeting, all the Board members wore solemn looks, an indication that all was not well with them. They must have been lampooned by the Governor over their incompetence in the management of the affairs of the Commission.
Meanwhile, the management of the Commission has devised a divide and rule method to weaken the struggle by sending ethnic representatives to talk to staff. This was exactly the method they employed in 2017 but the workers have vowed to resist it.
The foregoing goes to show that the Governor may be unaware and that Askia and his cohorts were only painting the Governor black as the devil who doesn't want the Board to take care of the welfare of the workers.