Bayelsa community protest over bad roads

Bayelsa community protest over bad roads

Thursday, June 19, 2014 8:43 am

Bayelsa- Hundreds of Okoroba community members in Nigeria’s oil rich Bayelsa state, took to the streets  on Wednesday to protest the sluggish pace of work on the 10-kilometer Okoroba-Opume road in the state. Bad roads have remained a common concern in various states in Nigeria.

Bad roads a common concern in Nigeria

Bad roads a common concern in Nigeria

More than 1,000 persons displaying placards and green leafs marched on the stretch of the road chanting solidarity songs in a peaceful protest.

Addressing newsmen after the protest, Chief Maurice Igaka, a community leader, regretted that the contractor had abandoned the project and left the road in a deplorable state.

He appealed to the Federal Government to ensure speedy completion of the road to fast track the socio-economic life of the people.

He said the community had welcomed the project, inaugurated in 2011, but the pace of work had compelled them to stage the protest to draw the attention of the relevant authorities to the unpleasant situation.

“We acknowledge the good intentions of the Federal Government under the leadership of President Goodluck Jonathan in awarding the contract on this road to open up our community.

“Sadly, the attitude of the contractor who has since withdrawn from the site negates the good intentions and that is why we are protesting to draw the attention of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

“We want the NDDC to know that the contractor has abandoned the project and we urge them to take the necessary steps to make the contractor to return to site.

“It is regrettable that since 2011, the road is yet to go beyond site clearing and less than one kilometer of the 10-kilometer stretch has been graded,” Igaka said.

He explained that the stage at which the road was abandoned had made it impassable for even motorcycles and compelled the residents to trek the distance to go to the market and other endeavours.

Also speaking, Madam Owomi Okuma, a 90-year-old woman, lamented that the poor condition of the road had made her children residing in Yenagoa to visit her less often.

“With the condition of this road, my children do not come home again to bring food to me. They often call to tell me that they cannot visit me because of the road, and I do not expect them to trek this distance.

“Before now when the road was a track road, motorcycles were plying the road but now everywhere is flooded due to the construction and rather than continue the contractor just left the road and we are all suffering.

Mr Hitler Adumom, a youth leader, said the state of the road had forced the people to resort to marine transportation with attendant higher costs and risks.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some construction equipment were abandoned at the Opume end of the road while residents said that officials of the firm withdrew most of their equipment in December 2013. (NAN)

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