Niger DeltaNews

Delta community protests over abandoned NDDC Road project

By Kelvin Ohoror

Residents of Onicha village in Ubulu-Uku town, Aniocha South Local Council of Delta State, have embarked on a peaceful protest over the deplorable state of Onicha-Uku/Onicha-Ugbo Road. They urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to re-open investigation on the alleged misappropriation of N245 million, released for the rehabilitation of the Onicha-Uku/Onicha-Ugbo Road.

The road, which links them to Abuja, Lagos and Asaba was awarded in 2015. The community also called on the State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the World Bank
to come to their rescue before erosion sweeps the entire community away. The present state of the road, according to the placard-bearing protesters, has brought untold hardship, after the state and federal governments have abandoned them to their fate. They had to resort to unsustainable self help efforts.

Secretary of the community, Osaji Ephraim Iwebunor, who read the content of a save- our- soul letter, alleged deceit on the part of officials of the NDDC, who he said pretended to be working on the road only to disappear sooner or later.

He said: “In 2019, some persons came to parade themselves as workers who came on instructions of the Senator representing Delta North, Peter Nwaoboshi, who incidentally was representing us in the NDDC Senate Committee at the time. The workers came with their tools, including bulldozers and other equipment. Few days after loitering around, the workers disappeared with their tools.

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“We later found out that the so-called workers appeared in our community to give impression to the EFCC team visiting Delta State at the time to investigate some NDDC abandoned projects, that work was in progress.

“Regrettably as you can see, the only access road to our community, which is like express road to other communities, especially Onicha-Ugbo, in Aniocha North, Edo State, even Delta State capital, Asaba, is in a very deplorable condition. We have been totally cut off from other communities, even in the same town, Ubulu-Uku.

“It is no longer news that our elderly, the sick, non courageous, weaklings and our children can not attempt to access the road, as passing through is like walking through the valley of death.”

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