A group of young men and women totalling 502 from all the 25 local government areas of Delta State who were organised for a 3-week Entrepreneurship/Interlocking Making Training (E.I.M.T) by the Forum of Delta State Local Government Transition Committee Chairmen in collaboration with the Delta State Government and SURE-P, from 1st to 21st September, 2015, have cried out bitterly to all concerned authorities and stakeholders to be given their ‘start-up packs’ as earlier promised, and failing which they will take to the streets of Asaba and other cities for protest, before the 2015 general elections, and to subsequently boycott the polls with all their family members and friends.
Speaking at a meeting held by the trainees at the Delta State University, Abraka on Saturday, March 21, 2015, Comrade Karo Tene-Omadide who is the State/Delta Central Coordinator of the E.I. M.T, explained to newsmen that when they were invited for the training in 2014, they were strongly assured that they would be given all provisions for the training and at the end be given the sum of Three Million Naira (N3,000,000.00) each as their start-up packs to empower them in running their businesses as entrepreneurs. And that at the end of the training, they were instructed to go to their various local government councils, to receive their start-up packs on scheduled dates. But surprisingly, they were given only one head-pan with one spade and one hundred mould cans each, and that has been all. No single trainee has received the much promised monetary ‘start-up pack’.
Comrade Karo Tene-Omadide further explained that the then Chairman of Forum of Delta State Local Government Transition Committee Chairmen, Hon. (Mrs.) Chinwe Olarewaju exhibited willingness to help them get their start-up packs initially, but since her exit from office, no other government official has given any helping hand. The body had written several letters to the Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly (dated 8th October, 2014), to the Office of the Executive Governor of Delta State (dated 21st October, 2014), to the Delta State Commissioner of Police (dated 23rd February, 2015), another one to the Executive Governor (dated 25th February, 2015) and still another to the Delta State Commissioner of Police (dated 5th March, 2015). All the letters were signed by Comrade Karo Tene-Omadide (State/Delta Central Coordinator, GSM 08063260555), Comrade Oluonye Emeka Victor (State Secretary/Delta North Coordinator, GSM 07033045433) and Comrade Oliseneku Ebi (State PRO/Delta South Coordinator, GSM 08064327513) and the letters were duly stamped and received in the various offices they were sent to.
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When the E.I.M.T. group wanted to stage a protest over the matter at first, The Delta State Commissioner of Police did his best to mediate on the matter and personally took the case to the Governor, His Excellency, Dr. Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan. The Governor advised against the protest match at first, because President Goodluck Jonathan was about coming to Asaba for an event. “But thereafter, the Governor now sent a message to us, the E.I.M.T. group, that there is a provision for the ‘start-up packs’ which ought to come from SURE-P, and that the Delta State Government cannot shoulder that responsibility, and that we can go for protesting after 72 hours of publication, if we so wish”, added Comrade Karo Tene-Omadide.
Adding voice to the matter, Comrade Oluonye Emeka Victor, the State Secretary/Delta North Coordinator of the group, said: “We are a group of responsible and loyal supporters of the ruling PDP government, hence we were selected for the training; we endured harsh conditions of sub-standard meals, lack of electricity, lack of medical care, lack of water and lack of comfortable sleeping materials at the Issele-Uku NYSC Camp during our training, in the hope that we would be empowered to operate our individual businesses thereafter, and contribute to the Nigerian economy. But now we are being denied of our promised ‘start-up packs’. Among us, are graduates of various institutions, married men and women, parents and even breadwinners”.
Summing up their demands and clarion call, the E.I.M.T. group said: “We are hereby calling out loudly to:
(1) The Federal Government of Nigeria, under the presidency of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan,
(2) The Delta State Government, under the governorship of Dr. Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan,
(3) The 25 Local Government Chairmen in Delta State, and
(4) All major stakeholders within and outside Delta State, including the various political party candidates, to come to our rescue and use all legal means possible, to get us our ‘start-up packs’. If no positive response is given to us, we will take to the streets for protests before the general elections. And more than that, we, together with our family members, friends and empathizers shall boycott the elections at all levels”.
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