Wednesday, September 12, 2018 8:27 am
People of the oil-rich Ndokwa East local government, of Delta state have lamented the deplorable state and lack of basic infrastructure, occasioned by what they describe as “sad neglect of the communities in the area by successive governments, both at the state and federal levels, in spite of the fact that the area is littered with oil wells, and hosts the operations of dozens of oil companies”.
Ndokwa nation is made up of three local government areas with Ndokwa East, with headquarters at Aboh, as one of them
Described by one of its prominent indigenes and community rights advocate, Pastor Godwin Osameme, as the ” most backward Local Government Area in Delta North”, adding that , “in fact, politically, it appears that government has excluded the entire local government area from the national map in terms of development index, due largely to absence of basic infrastructure”.
The worst hit by this absence of development, according to the Redeemed Christian Church of God RCCG Pastor, is the Akarai-Etiti axis (Akarai Obodo, Umuti, Umuolu, Iyede Ame, Onogbokor, amongst others) in the local government, which he said exist no single passable road, electricity, education or health care facilities, portable water and any other basic infrastructure that ought to add value to the lives of these people whose land is ravaged by the environmental effects of oil exploration.
He said that communities in that axis are irked that despite the fact that the current governor of the state, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, is from Delta North, the sorry state of things in the area has not changed.
Pastor Osademe went further to say that till date, the only governor that has visited that area of the riverine Ndokwa East, was the then governor of the defunct Bendel state (now Edo and Delta states), late Prof. Ambrose Alli, in the second republic.
Osademe: “Between 1982 and 83, the late Prof Ambrose Alli, the Governor of the defunct Bendel State, made a bold effort to bulldoze our road from Aboh to somewhere near Umuolu. In 1983, Gov Alli visited Akarai Etiti. He remains the only governor that has visited that axis till date.
“With Gov Okowa, our people ought to be smiling, being that he is from our senatorial zone. But we rather receive undeserved rod of neglect, disdain and failed promises.
“Our people continue to be inflicted with the injury of hard life due to lack of basic infrastructure. We are hardworking and law-abiding peasants. We need road infrastructure to enable our farmers transport their produce to markets where they are needed and live a better life. But nobody seems to care. And we are expected to vote during elections. This is unacceptable. This should not be happening in a democracy. This is injustice to a people who contribute immensely to the commonwealth of Delta state and Nigeria.”
.nother indigenes of the area, Ugochukwu Okpala decried the grave health challenges and environmental degradation the people of the area have been suffering as a result of the gas flaring activities of these oil companies.
He said: “due to the release of oxides of Nitrogen and Sulfur into the atmosphere, acid rain is formed as a result of a mixture of these gases with moisture. Acid rain causes acidification of lakes and streams and also destroys vegetation. Acid rain also damages structures and buildings, reduces visibility and generally causes harm to public health, thereby affecting the health and well being of Ndokwa Easterners and nearby communities due to flared gases.”