The Ijaw People’s Development Initiative (IPDI) has threatened to boycott the proposed Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s Town Hall meeting in Burutu over the governor’s alleged deliberate resfusal to release fund for the commencement of work on the abandoned Ayakoromo bridge project earlier approved by the governor.
They resolved to mobilise people in the poorly governed riverine communities to stage a protest against the Governor.
The rresolution was contained in a statement signed by Comr. Ezekiel Kagba of Ijaw People’s development Initiative (IPDI); Comr.Arerebo Yerinmene, Acting Spokesman, Burutu Activists Forum (BAF); Mr Ebibofa Azeez, Representative of Burutu Riverine communities; Comrade Williams Welemu, National spokesman, Coalition of Niger Delta voices (CNDV).
The statement reads:
“We are perturbed over the delay and the deliberate failure to release fund for the commencement of the abandoned Ayakoromo bridge project by Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State.
“We are not also comfortable with the non-commencement of works for some of the few state road projects despite the media alarms that the contractors have mobilised back to site.
“It is pertinent to note that Okowa is taken our silence over his misrepresentation of Ijaw areas for granted and we will tell him that gone are the days of failed promises. He promised one billion take-off funds for the abandoned Ayakoromo bridge but it is turning out to be a political promise. We will not accept it.
“We have resolved to boycott the proposed Okowa’s Town Hall meeting in Burutu. We will instead, mobilised the poorly governed riverine communities to stage a protest against the Governor.
“In an enlarged meeting comprising all the affected communities in Burutu LGA, we have agreed to show to the world through Governor Okowa’s visit to Burutu township, how the Governor has used politics to shortchange us. Our resolve is that, it would have been better he (Okowa) should not come to Burutu without releasing the approved funds for the bridge and the immediate commencement of work on other abandoned projects in the LGA because no riverine community will attend the meeting. This is not a threat but a reality. We will stage one million man protest against against the Governor because we are running out of patient.
“It is becoming clear to us that Okowa does not have any regard for Burutu people. The delay is a deliberate attempt to abandon Ayakoromo bridge project and we will not accept it.
“We are already preparing for another mega protest to tell the wall how we have been marginalised by the Okowa Government despite the fact that Burutu LGA is the economic live wire of the State. This protest at the Town Hall meeting will serve as a follow up call to expedite action for the completion of the above projects because we have perceived that Okowa is playing politics with Ayakoromo bridge projects. Over five months since he approves one billion for Ayakoromo bridge project, no fund is yet to be released for the commencement of work. We are not comfortable with the new fold of events.
“The Governor should be reminded of his promise to us during our meeting with his representatives at Asaba where he said paucity of funds will no longer be an excuse because there is an improve in the State’s IGRs and the Federal allocations since the Forcados terminal has started operation.
“In conclusion, we wish to state unequivocally that we have no business with Okowa until funds are released for Ayakoromo bridge project and commence work on the project site.”