Community protests non-completion of Opume-Okoroba road in Bayelsa

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OKOROBA – Hundreds of members of Okoroba community on Wednesday staged a protest draw attention the pace of work on the 10-kilometer Okoroba-Opume road in Bayelsa.

More than 1,000 persons carrying placards and leaves marched on the stretch of the road singing solidarity songs in the 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 the Federal Government ensure a speedy completion of the road fast track the socio-economic life of the .

He said the community had welcomed the project which was inaugurated in 2011 but the current pace of work had compelled them stage the protest draw the attention of the relevant authorities the project.

“We really acknowledge the good intentions of the Federal Government under the leadership of President Goodluck Jonathan to award the contract for this road to open our community.

“Sadly, the attitude of the contractor who has since withdrawn from the site negates the good intentions and that is we are protesting to draw the attention of the Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

“We want the NDDC to know that the contractor has abandoned the project and we urge them to take the steps to make the contractor to 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, Owomi Okuma, a 90-year- woman, lamented that the poor condition of the road had made her residing in Yenagoa to visit her less often.

“With the condition of this road, my do not come home again to bring 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 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 to resort to marine with attendant higher costs and risks.

Some equipment were abandoned at the Opume end of the road while residents said that officials of the firm withdrew most of equipment in December 2013. (NAN)