The Ijaw Youth Council in Western Zone has commended Governor Godwin Obaseki on the award of 155 new road projects across Edo State.
The commendation is followed by the group’s displeasure towards the exclusion of Ijaw areas from these projects.
In a letter written to the Edo State Government and copied to Daily Report Nigeria, the IYC lamented the grave injustice and underdevelopment the Ijaws have been subjected to over the years.
The letter signed by Comrade Doubra Okotete and Omaghomi Olu-Derimom, Chairman and Secretary respectively of the IYC Western Zone, also highlighted the possible solutions for the betterment of Ijaws in Edo.
The letter titled “Re: Construction/ Rehabilitation of 155 Roads In The Three Senatorial Districts of Edo State,” reads in full;
We applaud your strong and passionate commitment to the infrastructural development of the State owing to the laudable initiatives mapped out by your administration to better the lives of the people.
Our prayer is that these initiatives are fully deployed unhindered right from the city hub down to the grassroots.
His Excellency, while we celebrate your visionary leadership in initiating and deploying these projects we wonder while our region largely occupied by the Ijaws/Izons is totally left out being a riverine circle with numerous challenges of accessing the city life.
Sir, it will interest you to know that from the inception of democratic administrations, the riverine terrain which is heavy on winning elections had always suffered total infrastructural neglect, which we feel has played out again after capturing 155 Roads for fixing but none in our riverine terrain. Sir, none, for us is indeed a “Song Of Sorrow” in the voice of Young Elder ( SORROW ANGONY AND PAIN) which continuously impact negatively on the socio-economic life of our people despite our huge economical contribution to the State.
Sir, this total neglect of the riverine terrain of the State is unacceptable.
We consider it an act of gross injustice and marginalization to the Ijaws of our darling State which we sometimes feel is deliberate and if allowed to continue in this manner, then we are in for a bigger trouble both to our current livelihood and our unborn children.
Mr Governor Sir, the two major connecting roads from the city to the riverine communities are all in deplorable state and all internal roads inclusive in our communities are in total mockery.
Meanwhile, the Udo Inikorogha Ofunama road and the Ekewan barracks Gelegele roads are just two major points of entry into the riverine terrain yet neglected.
Sir, these roads should be given urgent attention and the internal roads in all our riverine communities.
Considering the poor livelihood of our people with the unending challenges along the water ways where our people are predominantly catered for by fishing activities, we expected much more from the Father of the State but the case had never been same.
As we speak our major occupation of fishing is gradually on the verge of total extinct due to water hycient and residues from oil activities which is one of the major contributors to the State.
Sir, permit me to say categorically that it was only in the administration of your predecessor Comrade Adams Oshiomole that we experienced some clearing of our water ways right from existence which later turned out to be a conduit pipe for political scavengers with the job done shabilly.
To fast track infrastructural, development we suggest that you should consider the following:
1. Establish a riverine development Agency
2 Create at least three local government development centers for the riverine areas of Ovia Federal Constituency and Ikpoba Oka.
3. Establishment Of Marine Academy in the riverine terrain to prepare personnel for the Gelegele seaport and for human capital development of the State since the Marine activities in the state is hugely unknown to many.
Sir, we kindly hope this letter will be given due attention as we are ready to support your administration to succeed.
Be rest assured of our esteem support anytime.