Okowa thanks Uvwie people, wants rampaging herdsmen checked
WARRI – GOVERNOR Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state has thanked the Uvwie local people for maintaining the existing peace, promising to extend more development to them if they continue to sustain the peace.The governor also called on the federal government to urgently do something about rampaging herdsmen who are killing and maiming citizens of Delta and other states of the country at will.The governor who said yesterday noted that the menace of herdsmen will continue to be a challenging stress on state governments unless federal government comes up with appropriate laws to nip it in the bud.Speaking, in continuati0n of his tour of local government areas of the state, at a town hall meeting in Uvwie local government area at the Petroleum Training Institute, Conference Centre, Effurun, Governor Okowa wondered why some group of persons, from a section of the country, are free to carry AK 47 rifles to kill with impunity while others are not allowed.“We are aware that the National House of Assembly is doing it’s best, but we know that this has gone beyond legislation. We have lived with herdsmen before but what we are experiencing today is not what we used to see in past and we are very worried about it.“The legislation we are trying to put in place will soon come. But I will let you that we do not have a strong policy because federal government needs to find appropriate strategies as they have full control of the security agencies. We are trying our best to work with them but there are limits“However, there are some of these herdsmen who are very good. They identify themselves with the community they reside in and they have been very peaceful. The problem we have is with the ones carrying arms.“They use these arms to not only destroy our crops but also use them to engage in other crimes. We have been working with the Commissioner of Police and other security agencies to tackle the issue”On salaries arrears owed local government workers, the governor restated that his administration was not owing local council workers, since it was not the responsibility of states to pay local government staff.“I have sworn to continue to speak the truth to our people. We have the federal, state and local council areas. I will help when there is money but when local government workers begin to think that their salaries come from the state, that is not true. The only thing that connects us is the money that comes from the federal allocation. It is called Federal Allocation Accounts, FAAC, meeting.“In that meeting the money that comes to the state and the one that comes to local government is also defined. And what we do as a state government is to provide ten percent of our internally generated funds to the local governments.”On cultism being experienced in the Primary and secondary schools, governor Okowa blamed it on family and society, noting that parents have failed in their responsibilities to take care of their children.Present at the town hall meeting were Okowa’s deputy, Kingsley Otuaro, Speaker of the state, Sheriff Oborevwori, Secretary to the State Government, Ovie Festus Agas among others.