The Itsekiri youths in Delta State yesterday protested at the state House of Assembly in Asaba to kick against the appropriation of N600 million in the 2016 budget for security in Itskekiriland.
Armed with different placards with inscriptions such as “DESOPADEC money is for development”, “Itsekiri say do not use security vote to siphon our money”, “Mr. Speaker, use our money for development not security”, the protesters, who are members of Itsekiri Host Communities Oil and Gas (HOSTCOM), vowed to resist any attempt to misappropriate their monies.
Vociferously chanting Itsekiri songs, they decried that the budgetary provision of N600 million for security was against the purpose for which the commission was established.
The Chairman of HOSTCOM, Mr. Benjamin Iwetan, pleaded that the commission’s money was meant for the development of oil producing communities and urged the lawmakers to appropriate the N600 million properly for the development of the communities.
Iwetan, who is also the leader of Itsekiri Hostcom, said: “Our money cannot be appropriated for security. If properly utilised, this money can assist to take some of our unemployed youths from the labour market.”
He emphasised that he was not against security provisions but that “security votes cannot be drawn from DESOPADEC as it is the people’s fishing and farm right.”
The Speaker, Monday Igbuya, told the protesters that the House will look into their agitation, adding that the budget was still being considered by the lawmakers and had not been passed.