"We Are Going To Step On Toes To Make Warri Clean" --- Chief Macaulay

By Kenneth Orusi, The Nigerian Voice, Asaba

The newly sworn in Director-General (DG), Warri, Uvwie and Environs Development Agency, Chief Ovuozuorie Macaulay, said to bring back the lost glory of the oil rich and commercial hub of Delta State, the agency would bring down unwanted buildings, structures and makeshift shops.

Addressing journalists in Asaba, during his swearing in reception in his Asaba residence, the DG of the newest agency, said for the oil rich Warri, to come alive, people must be ready to make sacrifices aimed at restoring its glory.

"Like I told you I know the sensitivity of the people of the area. I’m going there with an open mind. First, like you heard Chief Amori said he spoke my mind. Warri is full of kiosks and caravans. First, we must clear Warri to become a clean environment.

"And in making it clean environment, we are going to step on toes. You cannot put a beautiful edifice without destroying the bad one that was there. So, we must step on toes and people must be ready to make that sacrifice for Warri to be clean".

He continued: "For Warri to be that kind of city we are looking forward to, we must eliminate all those street trading, road side trading, all those caravans must go and we must clean the environment of the dirt before we talk of drainage. That will be the first assignment by the grace of God".

Macualay, who was Commissioner Conflicts Resolution under former governor James Onanefe Ibori, expressed boldness of delivering on the mandate given to him and members of his board

Hear him: "I am not strange to pioneering. I pioneered NUJ, I pioneered NLC, I pioneered conflict resolution. So, I���m not a strange man in the matter of pioneering. Warri is a familiar terrain for me when it comes to pioneering. As a Deltan, Warri has been a part of me, I grew up in Warri, so I have a fair knowledge of the geography and terrain of Warri and the environment.

"As one who resolved an ethnic conflict for over seven years, I’m also familiar with the sensitivities of the people of the area. So, for me, there is no big deal".

On the turn out to grace the event he said: "First, let me tell you that I only invited four people to this ceremony. Apart from the House of Assembly members, all the crowd you saw today were people who came on their own because they see that one of theirs has been appointed.

"So, for me, it is a challenge. I have always told people that the more confidence people have on you, the more challenged your life is. You must work to justify those confidences.

"When people say you are good, you must try to be better. If you are carried away when people say you are good, then they will run away. I feel challenged that I invited only four people but I have a crowd of thousands. So, it’s a great challenge".

He noted that the yeanings of residents of Warri, Uvwie and environs would be met by the agency under his watch even as he called for support

"By the grace of God, their expectations will be met. Let them pray for the state because first, we must ensure that there is peace. We call on the leaders of the area and the youths in particular, to give me and the agency the necessary environment to carry out our functions. Two, we plead with our youths of the Niger Delta to reduce restiveness if not eliminate it so that the state can get money.

"The source of money for the whole of this country is through the oil. And once that oil is not flowing from your area, of course your revenue decreases. Because of the restiveness of the Niger Delta, particularly the Delta part of it, Delta state went to number 4 but today by the grace of God, it’s gone up to number one.

So we need not only to sustain that number one but to increase production because if the governor does not get enough money, you will not expect him to put money into that agency. It is the more money he gets that will encourage him to fund that agency adequately and if the agency is not adequately funded, there is no magic anybody is going to do.

"So, for the miracles we are expecting to happen the agency has to be properly funded and for the agency to be properly funded, the governor has to get more money from the federal allocation. And for him to get more money from the federal allocation there must be in the oil bearing communities".

On whether if he would partner foreign bodies to develop the area, he said: "We will look at the law establishing the agency".