The Imo State Oil Producing Areas Leadership Forum (ISOPALF) has called on the Imo State Governor to reconstitute the board and management of the Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (ISOPADEC).
The forum made the call in a press release in Owerri at the weekend, after its meeting on pressing issues affecting the oil rich areas of Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta.
The press release titled; “A clarion call to reconstitute the board and management of ISOPADEC without further delay” and signed by Hon. Ezekwe Christian C and Deacon Obasi Osita, Chairmen of Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta Local Governments chapters of the forum respectively, bemoaned the absence of leadership and sense of direction in an interventionist agency such as ISOPADEC which was of necessity, created to fill the human and infrastructural development gaps of the oil producing communities that have suffered untold marginalisation and pauperisation by successive administrations.
It noted that the board was dissolved by the present administration with a promise to reconstitute same in due course has since the dissolution 4 months ago been bereft of leadership and direction particularly, at this critical moment the Covid-19 pandemic has left the people destitute and in critical need of humanitarian interventions. It expressed worry at the needless delay in reconstituting the board.
According to the forum, the people of Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta have demonstrated profound love, unalloyed loyalty and irrevocable commitment to the present administration of His Excellency, Senator Hope Uzodimna by remaining patient and understanding in spite of all odds. And as it is, their patience seems to have been over-stretched and their silence, misunderstood.
The forum which comprises of visible personalities from the area including serving and past town union presidents and notable professionals stated emphatically,”We cannot continue to fold our hands while our people suffer in the midst of plenty and the only commission created to respond to our plight is left comatose. Some of the landmark projects that would impact on the lives of our people such as the Awarra Court Area and the Agwa electrification project has been stalled.
“It is therefore with a deep sense of responsibility and in pursuance of our mandate as the duly accredited body representing the interest of our good and peace loving people of Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta L.G.A. that we hereby appeal to our dear governor, His Excellency, Senator Hope Uzodinma to listen to the cries of our people by reconstituting the board of management of ISOPADEC without further delay.”
While reassuring the governor that they would give their maximum support to whosoever he appoints, provided such persons are indigenes of Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta L.G.As, they insisted that contest among different interest groups for the leadership of ISOPADEC is natural and cannot be a justifiable reason for this undue delay in reconstituting the board and management.
The group expressed implict confidence in the wisdom of the Governor in appointing credible and resourceful people from the large pool of his trusted alies/followers from the area to provide the much needed leadership in ISOPADEC.