70 roads for rehab: Kudos, knocks for Okowa

Ifeanyi Okowa

A Niger Delta environmental rights activist, Comrade Sheriff Mulade, has hailed Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for the approval of 70 road projects across Delta State.

This is just as the Ijaw National Council (IYC) has accused Okowa of marginalising Ijaw areas in the 70 roads allocated for rehabilitation.

TribuneOnline reports that the state government had, recently, approved the construction and rehabilitation of 70 roads across the three senatorial districts of the state.

In a press statement made available to TribuneOnline in Warri on Wednesday, Comrade Mulade, who hails from Kokodiagene Community in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South West Local Government Area of the state, noted that the roads would contribute immensely to the economic wellbeing of the state especially in the area of transportation, free flow of commercial activities and alleviate the sufferings of road users.

He, however, called on Governor Okowa to be fair to Ijaws and Itsekiris riverine communities and review the allocation of the projects so as to accommodate the interest of the two ethnic groups who are the most vulnerable to environmental degradation due to oil exploration activities that keep the state and the country economically vibrant.

He averred that the exclusion of Ijaw communities in the 70 road rehabilitation projects was unfair and has shown the inequality in the distribution of development projects across the state, describing it as a subtle marginalisation capable of engendering a sense of injustice, resentment and peaceful coexistence.

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National President of IYC, Roland Perpetual Oweilaemi, in a statement made available to Tribune Online, warned that the Delta State Government was leading a democratic apathy.

“We can no longer accept to be the beautiful bride economically but being politically raped to stupor.

“Does it make any political-cum economic sense for the government to marginalise the economic life wire of the State?

“Governor Okowa should reconsider his decision and immediately approve works in Ijaw areas.

“For the three years of stewardship by this present government, Bomadi LGA has no road project ongoing to the credit of Sen. Okowa.

“Not much has been given to Patani, Burutu and Warri South West. The Ijaws in Warri North has no single taste of democratic dividends from the present government,” he lamented.

The IYC leader urged Governor Okowa to urgently reappraise his decision by including Ijaw areas in the distribution of capital projects as a way of paying back the magnanimity of the Ijaw people who gave him block votes in 2015.”

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