By Mercy Obojeghren
Aboh (Delta State), Dec. 24, 2020 The people of Ndokwa East Local Government Area (NELGA) of Delta have launched an ambitious 10-year development plan to transform the area.
The event held during the historic NELGA Summit 2020, with the theme: ‘Unleashing the Potential of NELGA’ on Thursday at Aboh in Ndokwa East Local Government Area.
Chaired by Prof. Albert Osakwe of Novena University in the state the plan came with the adoption of Ndokwa East Development Organisers (NDO) and its 13-man Board of Trustees with a three-year tenure.
While sharing their vision, process and future of the event, an executive of NDO, Prof. Julie Umukoro, said in her keynote address titled “NELGA Golden Sages: The Seers of our Golden Age And Vision of A New NELGA,” that the Summit marked a new beginning for NELGA.
According to the Professor of Semiotics and Performance Studies, University of Port Harcourt, this mammoth crowd of towns and gowns gathered here today can be best described by the title of Evans Ufeli’s “A gathering of the tribes”.
“As partaker or witness, you are summoned at the behest of the NELGA Golden Sages, young Ndosimili patriots, who have been in incubation for more than 50 years, precisely, since the creation of Aboh division in 1960.”
She added that, “One visible mark of a developed nation is the possession of integral well-structured governance and a penal apparatus factored into the system.
One had expected that Nigeria, often named the giant of Africa, would have taken the lead in this direction, but unfortunately, the reverse has remained the case.
“The so-called giant has become greatly dwarfed by corruption. NELGA, being a microcosm of Nigeria is no different.
“These are referenced in the high-powered marginalisation, exploitation, subjugation, and corporate infringement now the order of the day in NELGA.”
She mentioned ”the despoiled rivers and farmlands resulting from oil spills, the widespread poverty of farmers and fishermen denied their livelihood, perennial flooding, hazard of periodic migration and displacement, lack of infrastructure, electricity and access roads as major problems.
“Thus, in order that the wave of emerging uprising be checked, concerned citizens of Ndosimili indigenous people of Ndokwa East have taken their destiny in their own hands.
“So, with this convergence, their foot soldiers – the NELGA Golden Sages – have taken the lead!
“I agree no less with Shakespeare that by opposing ‘the sea of troubles’ generated by the marginalisation and exploitation of NELGA, we could end them.”
She said that the Summit was a wake-up call to address the rot, marginalisation and the determination of the Golden Sages to interrogate the abysmal state of the plundering of the peoples wealth without commensurate reparation.
Speaking on ”NELGA Today and Our Dream of Tomorrow”, she urged the participants to imagine an oil and gas rich region well recognised and well compensated by the authorities.
“Imagine yet again NELGA as a Local Government Area founded on a brotherhood without rancour.
“Imagine a region so people-friendly and welcoming.
“Imagine youths peacefully bonded in the hustle and bustle to grow a buoyant economy and imagine young fertile minds open to entrepreneurial adventures.”
Speaking in the same vein, the Chairman, Ndokwa East Local Government Area, Mr Joan Governor, listed the setbacks and perennial challenges that the people of the oil-rich local governments were saddled with.
Governor, whose welcome speech was delivered by a Director of the Federal Emergency Road Management Agency, (FERMA), Mr Ben Olisa, said: “the challenges to the communities are overwhelming.
“Most communities lack basic amenities with little or nothing to show as the presence of government or dividend of democracy.
”The challenges are overwhelming with little or no infrastructure to show for its immense support for this fledgling democracy.”
The co-host and former Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Dr Olisa Imegwu, in his remarks, disclosed that the Diaspora members sent in their appreciation and determination to abide by the decisions reached at the Summit.
He also reeled out the list of BoT members and stated that “this body moved a resolution, putting in place the members of BoT and the Executive members of the NDO that will drive our 13-point agenda.”
In his speech, the Okpala-Uku of Azagba in Ndokwa East Local Government Area, Dr Oku Oguafor, expressed delight at the success of the Summit and stressed that in terms of developmental project, “it is a must that all hands must be on deck.”
“The Local Government, State and the Federal Government must be part of the 10-year developmental programme.
“We have inherited the culture of complacency. I suggest we should wake up to make this project a success.