Flood victims, DESOPADEC and leadership
Sir: It was recently reported that Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC), as part of its resolve to providing succour to the flood displaced victims, on Tuesday, October 18, 2022, invited the Local Government Chairmen of Burutu, Bomadi, Patani and Warri South West Local Government Areas of the state, to a shop in Warri city, Delta state. It handed over to them, relief materials purchased for the victims of the ravaging flood that have taken over almost all the communities/villages in the Ijaw mandate areas.
The items distributed to the affected local governments were bags of garri, bags of rice, and bags of onions, bags of beans, noodles, vegetable oil, palm oil, toiletries, and foams, among others.
While the donation to flood victims is understandable, commendable and appreciated, some questions immediately come to mind as to why DESOPADEC management decided to be compassionate by proxy? What prevented DESOPADEC management from visiting the real victims of the flood to personally empathize with them?
Is DESOPADEC management unaware that in the applied sense of the word, the real empathy lies more in the visit and emotional consolation of the flood victims than the so-called relief material sent through proxy? What will it cost DESOPADEC to pay a visit to these villages/communities in creeks?
What is the distance from Warri to Patani, Burutu and Bomadi that DESOPDEC management cannot send delegation? How will DESPODEC management ensure/ascertain that the relief materials got to the targeted beneficiaries without getting lost on transit or misdirected? If DESOPADEC management cannot visit the creeks in this period of crisis, what time will be more/most suitable to visit these people?
In my view, the above leadership disconnections, gaps and failures explain why DESOPADEC management has recently become reputed for citing right projects in the wrong places.
To further underscore the relevance of such visit made by GbaramatuVoice, it was reported that at Bobougbene, Burutu Local Government Area, one of the victims, after receiving relief materials from, and appreciated GbaramatuVoice, gazed into the sky, sobered and said; ‘’we are particularly not happy that public office holders, who were in the habit of coming to seek for our votes during electioneering, can no longer visit us in times of trouble and distress. Only God in heaven will judge everyone according to their deeds’’, he concluded.
For me, DESOPADEC management must not fail to remember the above admonition in their day-to-day administration of the Commission. This is important as the message they recently sent to the flood affected victims visibly qualifies as ‘unproductive messages.’
Utomi Jerome-Mario is the Programme Coordinator (Media and Public Policy), Social and Economic Justice Advocacy (SEJA), A Lagos-Based Non Governmental Organization (NGO). Jeromeutomi@yahoo.com