A community in Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State, Igbide has accused the State Government led by the People’s Democratic Party of complete negligence and paying deaf ears to its cries over the dilapidated Igbide-Olomoro road.
The community elder statesman and Rights Activist, Don Zino Osieme who spoke with SecretReporters, said the Igbide-Olomoro road, a major road that links Igbide to other communities, has been bad for about eight years.
Osieme, who lamented the current state of the road, said despite the continued cry from the community over the road, the State Government has only been ‘patching’ it over the years.
He noted that some community stakeholders have in the past written to the State Government and the Niger Delta Development Commission about the state of the road, but none has yielded the desired result.
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“Chief Etaluku has always been on it to NDDC, even Gen. Paul Omu but there have not been any tangible measures taken because what the road needs now is not patching/maintenance. Community effort was used the last time and they spent about N15 million going to two years now. They did some remedial work there, but the job was not well-done, despite spending whooping money of 15 million naira. After about three months, the road got bad again.
“There have been efforts from State government, but it was just maintenance, not to do it properly. Right now, the road needs three or four culverts because there were ponds on that road. And the sand they used to do that road was not proper lateral at the initial stage. They will need to remove the sand there and use proper lateral to do it. The road will be okay if they do it that way and the culvert.”
According to him, the Igbide-Olomoro road was constructed in 1986/87 and it took several years before its dilapidation. “Right now , the road is unmotorable. It requires proper excavation and sandfilling. Summarily, redesining and reconstruction with three box culverts,” he said.
The activist stated that since 1999, Igbide has been voting PDP. “In the last election, Igbide had the highest votes in Isoko South for PDP and nothing to show, no development. Our roads are bad, even the other road, Akuha Road. We have been writing and soliciting for them to come and do it. No way,” he said.
Osieme lamented that the State Government neglected the community completely, especially in the areas of infrastructure and political positions. “The State government has neglected Igbide completely. Only recently, they decided to do the fencing of Igbide Grammar School, which has not been completed”.
Articulating the demands of Igbide to the State Government, he said, “First, we need roads. Igbide is a large community and a big clan with a high population. We need good roads, internal roads, link roads between all the communities in Igbide”
“After that, there is no industry, no higher institution. The presence of government is not in Igbide at all. It has been a neglected place. It is an oil-producing community that has an oil well here, and we produce so many barrels of oil per day; at the end of the day, there is nothing to show for it. Igbide is at the rear quarters of development. They forget us”.
He continued that “When you talk of political appointment, we don’t have any political appointment apart from SSA, SA to Governor, which are more or less personal salary appointments”.