A Niger Delta based sociocultural group under the aegis of Egbema brotherhood, EB has called on the Managing Director, MD, Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Prof. Nelson Brambaifa and other relevant stakeholders in the system to urgently commence the Udo/Ofonama road.
President general of the Egbema brotherhood, Alaowei Prince Promise Lawuru made the call yesterday in his office during a media chat with The Liberator Newspaper.
The revered brotherhood president of the Egbema people had particularly stated that the immediate commencement of the road should not be politicised as the people are suffering untold hardship owing to the seeming abandonment of the road project.
Highlighting the importance of the road project, Prince Lawuru had explained that the Udo/Ofonama road is the only road that will link all the nine (9) autonomous communities in Egbema kingdom in both Delta and Edo states when completed.
According to him, the 46.5km road was awarded to Japaul & Mines Products Limited in 2011 by the administration of former president Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, frowning that the firm handling the project be mobilized to site and did some skeletal works and thereafter left without coming back till this moment.
The president general had challenged the leadership of NDDC to urgently do something positive to revamp the deplorable state of the road, stressing that the uncompleted nature of the project has resulted to the death of many pregnant women and others in Egbema kingdom.
He had noted that the predominantly riverine people of Egbema kingdom in both Delta and Edo state do not have any access road to access medical facilities in the urban which the people had described as a painful, dangerous and terrifying experience.
Speaking further, Alaowei had stated that his people are in a perilous situation as they are trapped in the river by water hyacinths and the non completion of the only access Udo/Ofonama road project had resulted to untold hardship of his people.
In his words: “The main source of livelihood of the Egbema people is farming and a farmer without any access road is terrific, terrifying and terrible”.
It would be recalled that Egbema kingdom in Warri South North Local Government Area of Delta State and Ovia South West Local Government Area of Edo State is host to several oil facilities.
Some of such facilities include: “Dibi Oil Field, Alero Oil Field, operated by multinational oil giants, CHEVRON.
“The Kingdom is also host to Opu-ekeba and Opuama flow stations operated by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC and many other facilities.”
It would be recalled that Egbema kingdom in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State is the third richest oil producing Ijaw kingdom in Delta State.
Lawuru had revealed that in spite of the rich economic viability of Egbema kingdom, the people are yet to have any commensurable benefit from NDDC and other related agencies in the Niger Delta region.
He had noted that the NDDC must critically look into the Udo/Ofonama road project and quickly swing into action by ensuring that the road is completed for the benefit of mankind.