Bayelsa Govt Tasks Communities to Raise Capable GMoU Teams
From Amos Odeh, Yenogoa
Bayelsa State Government has tasked communities in the state on credible and competent representatives to oversee the Global Memorandum of Understatanding (GMoU) they enter into with corporate bodies operating in their areas.
The Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo laid the emphasis at a resumed meeting with representatives of Egbemo-Angalabiri community in Ekeremor Local Government Area at his office in Government House, Yenagoa.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo, in a statement by his media aide, Mr Doubara Atasi, decried a situation where serving chiefs and other community leaders enlist themselves as members of the GMoU Committee, describing the trend as an anomaly that must be stopped.
According to the Deputy Governor, as the highest decision making body, Chiefs Councils are expected to be above-board and play a watchdog role over GMoU and other important committees in the administration of their communities.
He identified fairness, equity and selflessness as some of the major characteristics of leadership and urged the community stakeholders to ensure that capable people are selected to run the affairs of the community.
The Deputy Governor,h who urged the people to shun divisive actions that will undermine the peace and unity of Egbemo-Angalabiri community, stressed that communities need competent individuals to manage their GMoU with companies.
He cautioned against infighting in communities and called for singleness of purpose for the people to stop the oil companies from supplanting community interest through their divide and rule tactics.
His words, “One of the things our people need to know is that Shell and the other oil companies are always happy when there is disunity in our communities. The other day I attacked them (oil companies) and told them to stop this practice.
“Because while you are busy fighting yourselves, the money meant for your development will be taken away and they will not bring it back even after you have stopped the fight. So, you people should know that while you continue to fight over this GMOU issue, what is supposed to come to your community is denied you forever.
I find it ridiculous, if it is true, that Chiefs in Council are members of the GMoU Committee. That is an anomaly. I don’t know how we descend to this point because chiefs are the highest decision making body. If the GMoU has a problem, it is the chiefs that should manage and resolve it.
“In my opinion, if the chiefs were not part of the GMoU, this problem in your community could not have been the way it is. Our Chiefs should be completely neutral.
I recommend that our communities should be able to select well educated, well meaning, level-headed, resourceful and well endowed people to manage the GMoU for us.”
On the issue of the community’s constitution, Senator Ewhrudjakpo suggested the nomination of representatives from each of the 13 families in Egbemo-Angalabiri to review the existing constitution.
He called on all aggrieved parties to sheathe their swords and promised to report the issues raised at the meeting to Governor Douye Diri with a view to finding lasting solution to the problems bedeviling the community.
Earlier, the Acting Amananaowei of Egbemo-Angalabiri Community, Chief Ayakurai Gomet identified lack of accountability and transparency in the running of the community in the past two decades as some of the challenges facing the people.
Other representatives of the community including High Chief Dickson Okpokunoun and Hon Seibokuro Ndiomu thanked the Deputy Governor for the meeting and appealed to Government to ensure the resolution of the problems.Steve Oko, Publisher/C.E.O, WaWa News Global. For more information on advert placement and news coverage, contact us on: 08038725600, or via email [email protected]; [email protected] Always read WaWa News Global - Your most dependable online news platform for the latest breaking news in Nigeria.