The people of Eleme and Ogoni communities in Rivers State have decried the release of N2.5bn for compensation to reconstruct the Eleme section of the dilapidated East-West road.
The President General, Ogoni Youths Federation, Legborsi Yamaabana, expressed mixed feelings over the release of the money for the payment of compensation to property owners along the East-West road.
Yamaabana said, “Releasing the part payment for compensation is not only diversionary but a grand attempt by Senator Godswill Akpabio to hoodwink and deceive the protesting youths to withdraw from the road.
“The aim of the five-day-old mother of all protests remains at the forefront, which is the demand for the reconstruction of the entire stretch of the deplorable Ogoni axis of the East-West road (Eleme junction to Onne).
“We expect the Federal Government to display good faith and mobilise contractors handing the road project to site to implement our demand and stop playing to the gallery.”
The Chief Press Secretary to the executive chairman, Ate Chinwi, said the people wanted a complete reconstruction of the road and not remedial work.
Chinwe, in an interview with our correspondent, said the Federal Government’s approval was merely a statement without the details provided about the work to be done.
“Right now, we are quite sceptical and are observing. This is just a statement issued by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio. But we don’t know the scope of work to be done and how realistic this is.
“So, RCC (the contracting firm) will have to come and if the minister can also avail himself, let us sit down and look at what is to be done and how to sustain it. We don’t need remedial work anymore.
“You and I know we have had remedial work on that road before and it still goes bad. So, pending a formal engagement, the Eleme local government chairman, who is the chief security officer, the (local government) area will issue a statement.”
“For now, the RCC has to come down. The community wants to see them physically and have some kind of engagement with them to ascertain the scope and the level of commitment they have to sustain what they want to start,” he added.
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