Official activities at the Delta State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (DESOPADEC) were, on Monday, disrupted by protesting staffers of the commission, who were redeployed as traffic wardens in Warri, by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.
SaharaReporters correspondent gathered from reliable sources that following a circular conveying the redeployment of over 575 staff of the commission, the workers shut down the commission's headquarters in Warri.
Speaking to our correspondent, a staff of the commission, who preferred not to be named, accused Okowa of "grounding the commission".
The source said: "Funds accruing to the commission he has diverted to fund his Asaba Capital Development Agency, to the detriment of the people of the oil producing areas. Okowa has failed to address the massive fraud and corruption going on in the commission, but is only interested in posting staff to the Delta State Traffic Management Agency (DESTMA)."
Our source revealed that the recent redeployment was not part of staff employment conditions in the commission, adding that until the state governor reverses the redeployment, activities in the commission will remain crippled.
"Despite the massive fraud and corruption being perpetrated by the Managing Director of DESOPADEC, Williams Makinde, and the commission's Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Askia Ogieh, who is known for sharp practices and other members of the commission, Okowa went ahead to extend the tenure of the board led by Makinde by six months. Okowa has indeed failed Deltans and must be voted out come 2019," the source stated.
Delta State House of Assembly had, last week Thursday amended the State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) law of 2015 to empower Governor Okowa extend the tenure of the present board for not more than one year.
Following the amendment, Okowa, after signing it into law, was said to have immediately extended the tenure of the current commission by six months, a move which generated mixed reactions from the public.
Calls put to Williams Makinde, the Managing Director of DESOPADEC, were rebuffed as at the time of filing this report.