Delta youths under the umbrella of Isoko National Youth Assembly, (INYA) as well as women, Monday morning took to the streets of Isoko and barricaded the ever busy Ozoro-Kwale-Asaba express road to protest against governor Ifeanyi Okowa and the Executive Director, Administration and Finance, Delta State Oil Producing Development Commission, (DESOPADEC), Askia Ogieh over what they called bad governance and corruption.
The protesting youths and women accused governor Okowa of bad governance and the DESOPADEC director, Mr. Ogieh of corruption and embezzlement of millions of naira meant for youths empowerment in Isoko adding that until their demands are met the protest will continue.
The protest which started around 7:00 am caused heavy gridlock along the busy Ozoro-Kwale-Asaba express road, preventing vehicular movement leading to a disruption of traffic that led commuters to be stranded. The intervention of security agents could not bring the situation under control as the youths and women persisted in the protest.
"Enough is enough of Okowa taking Isoko for granted. For the past three years of his bad governance, Okowa has not done anything for Isoko but continue to amass our commonwealth for his personal use. Askia Ogieh, the DESOPADEC director, is Isoko son but because of corruption in his DNA, all monies running to millions of naira accrued to the Isoko youth for our empowerment from the commission he has embezzled.
"Askia continue to connive with a criminal appointed as SA to governor Okowa, one Victor alias "Last Mugu" to embezzle our money meant for empowerment. Okowa and Askia are common enemies of Isoko nation. Okowa decided to kill DESOPADEC and continue to fund Asaba capital development agency with funds meant for the commission." one of the protesters, Mrs. Oghenero said.
The leader of the placards carrying youths and women and President of Isoko National Youth Assembly, (INYA), Umuakpo Ovie said the mass protest is all about the bad governance in Delta state and the refusal of governor Okowa to complete the "Section B" of the Isoko-Asaba-Ughelli dualization road started by former governor Uduaghan led administration as well as deliberate non-funding of DESOPADEC for the past two years.
While calling on governor Okowa to expedite action on the funding of the interventionist agency and the abandoned Isoko axis of the Ughelli-Asaba dualization road project, the youth president disclosed that as Isoko youths as well as peace-loving Nigerians, they decided to mobilized for the protest which is the only peaceful way to press home their demands to the attention of the Federal Government and Governor Okowa.
In another development, there was free for all fight by Delta state youths last week Thursday at the Delta State Government House Annex in Warri on Thursday over N500, 000 largesse from Governor Ifeanyi Okowa during a meeting of Health Insurance between different youth groups in the state.
The money which was said to have been released by the state commissioner for health, Nicholas Azinge on behalf of the governor who was away in Abuja was allegedly hijacked by governor Okowa's aide, Victor Egbo alias Last Mugu, resulting in a free for all fight by the youths numbering about 200.