Niger Delta

Delta Community Barricades Ughelli/Asaba Expressway Over Govt. Neglect

...Motorists, Road Users Stranded for Hours

By Kelvin Ohoror

Residents of Ovrode Community in Isoko North Local Government Area of Delta State, Monday, January 31, shut down the Ughelli/Asaba expressway in protest over what they described as “deliberate neglect and abandonment by both State and Federal Government.”

The protesters numbering over hundreds of the community men, women and youths with placards bearing different inscriptions such as, “We are neglected and abandoned in Ovrode Community”, “Federal and State Governments should come to Ovrode Aid”, “Ovrode is bleeding, come to our rescue”, “No Government Presence in Ovrode”, “Unconducive learning environment in Ovrode Government Schools”, among others, put a halt to vehicular movement thereby causing a very serious traffic for several hours.

Addressing newsmen, the President General of Ovrode Community, Mr Felix Efedhoma, said, “Ovrode as an Oil producing Community since 1963 till date, has no Federal or State Government projects as a sign that we are contributing to the growth of the nation Nigeria.”

Continuing he said; “Ovrode Community has no primary health care center, no pipe borne water system, but dilapidated Primary and Secondary school and poor road network within the community.”

He also lamented the lack of both State and Federal Government structure in the community.

He disclosed that despite the promises of channeling their grievances to the state government made by the Honourable member representing Isoko North Constituency in Delta State House of Assembly months ago when he held a town hall meeting with the people, they are yet to receive anything positive from both the State and the Federal government.

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He further revealed that a letter was also written to the Delta State Governor, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa as regards how they are being shortchanged as a community. But said the government has, however, done nothing positive. While expressing displeasure, he described the situation as appalling and totally uncalled for.

Also speaking, the Secretary General of Ovrode Community, Comrade Jerry Akibe upheld that, “In this 21st century we, the people of Ovrode Community still drink well and stream water. No State or Federal Government project in the community including that of NDDC and DESOPADEC.

“We as a peaceful loving community have supported both State and Federal Government in all elections since 1999 till date. But the presence of Government at all levels is not felt in the community. No State or Government appointment. This shows that the state and federal government has taken Ovrode Community for granted, which we want to put an end to today.”

Comrade Simon Okata and Beauty Ojaeimo, who also spoke during the protest, corroborated the President General and Secretary of the community. They frowned at the poor state of infrastructural development in Ovrode Community, noting that, they will continue the protest till both State and Federal Government answer their cry.

As at the time of filing this report, a source who was traveling that route and witnessed the situation said, angry youths from Aradhe Community were seizing the opportunity to extort money from motorists who used the community as escape route.

Commercial drivers were seen lamenting the unjust collection of money by the youths of the Aradhe community.

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