A Delta born human and environmental rights activist and Ijaw leader, Chief Mulade Sheriff has disagreed with the Delta State House of Assembly over what he described as hurried move to hold public hearing on bills to upgrade and establish three new universities in Delta State.
Mulade in a statement made available to news men in Warri noted that the time frame given by the State House of Assembly was a Clear evidence that there was calculated move to shut stake holders out of possible inputs. He noted that in a democracy there is the need for transparency on projects and developments because power belongs to the people.
He stated that it is an unacceptable time frame for genuine input from Deltans and critical stakeholders, a display of Desperation, clandestine action and betrayal of trust reposed on our Honourable members of the state assembly and the state government by Deltans.
Mulade further advised them to desist from acting as a rubber-stamp institution as Deltans expects them to display integrity and prove to be an independent arm of government.
Mulade also reacted to report that the state house of Assembly has fixed Friday 19th February 2021, to hold public hearing on three bills forwarded to it by the State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa to upgrade and establish three new universities in State.
The sudden and less than 24 hours notice is questionable, obnoxious and strong disregard for Deltans as the Chairman, House Committee on Education, one of our finest and most respected. Hon Charles Emetulu has decided to toe the paths of shallow integrity for such hearings to be fixed on Friday 19th February 2021 in less than 24 hours from the sitting of Wednesday 17th February 2021.
According to him, It is regrettable that adequate time was not given for inputs from critical stakeholders and interested parties, noting that Delta people are wondering why the rush on such sensitive bills for development in the State, especially when some sections of the state are questioning the rationale behind elevating only three institutions to the status of universities, while other sections are shut out from benefiting from such welcome development projects that could turn narratives around by putting communities ahead of others.
Mulade stated that the House of Assembly should as a matter of fact open their doors to welcome robust contributions from the public on projects that are sensitive and likely to divide the state on ethnic lines.
In his view, the State Assembly should not be seen promoting apathy, disenchantments and lack of trust for the government.
Three universities on public hearing inside Delta State Assembly with a short time frame could lead to government being unpopular in some sections of the state.
As unimportant as the house of Assembly may make the dissatisfaction as expressed to be, public hearing at a short time frame will be a disservice to the good people of Delta State. Also, he stressed that the rush to please a few power blocks may be counter productive at the very long run.
He noted that if this is allowed to go on, it connotes wrong impression and indication that the Delta State House of Assembly as submitted, and decided to relinquish her constitutional independent rights to the State Executive. he added.