A socio-cultural group made up of cross-sectorial professionals of Isoko extraction, Enyaharo Isoko, has commended Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, for upgrading three tertiary institutions in the state to university status.

President of the group, Amos Iwary, said the state government’s decision deserved commendation, just as it urged those criticising the move to have a rethink and engage with the institutions on how to better harness them.

Enyaharo Isoko expressed disappointment over attempts by some of their neighbours, particularly the Ijaw to give Okowa’s vision an ethnic colouration in the guise of senatorial balancing and demonise the governor in his effort to provide good governance.

Specifically, it accused the Ijaw of stoking ethnic tensions with the argument that the Isoko already has a campus of the Delta State University (DELSU) in Oleh and as such, should not have another institution.

The group wondered why the Ijaw, who already have a Federal University of Marine Technology and School of Marine Technology were not contented, but would rather chastise the Isoko, who have a higher population than Delta Ijaw with two higher institutions.

It argued that Ozoro, headquarters of Isoko North Council has a long history of higher institution that started since the Second Republic in the old Bendel State when Governor Ambrose Alli cited the polytechnic in the town before former Governor James Ibori returned it and which Governor Okowa has upgraded to university status.

Iwary, who enjoined the Ijaw to desist from the needless bickering, said such arguments often scuttled development efforts in the state and why Delta usually lagged behind due to politicisation of issues, charged Okowa to ignore the sentimental outbursts from detractors and focus on his efforts at making Delta a greater state in all ramifications.

He also urged the Ijaw to challenge representative of Delta South Senatorial District, which includes the Isoko, James Manager, to show the development he has attracted to the state since his foray in the National Assembly for 17 years.

Iwary said the Ijaw should prevail on their son to wake up from his slumber at the National Assembly and be alive to his duty of representing the entire district and not just the Ijaw.

“Governor Okowa and Isoko people will not be intimidated by the antics of disgruntled elements, who do not have the interest of the state at heart. Uzere in Isoko South Council is the largest oil producing community in Delta State, second only to two others in the Niger Delta region.

“So, bringing a like a university to Isoko land is a welcome development that all Delta people should embrace. A development project in one part of the state should be seen as a win-win for all Delta people and should not breed acrimony in the state,” he stated.