Ondo Youths Seal NDDC Office With Charms
Ondo Youths Seal NDDC Office With Charms – Over 1,000 youths in Ilaje Council of Ondo State have sealed the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) office in the state with objects suspected to be charms over “outright abandonment” of the riverine communities.
The protesters, under the aegis of Ilaje Advancement Forum (IAF), stormed the NDDC office at Igbokoda, the headquarters of Ilaje Council, yesterday with several placards and sealed up the office with fetish items.
The convener, Mrs. Juliet Tokunbo Ehinmowo, decried the alleged fraudulent activities of the commission in the riverine communities, which she said gave Nigeria global recognition as a crude oil-bearing nation many years ago.
She disclosed that since the inception of NDDC, it has only embarked successfully on few cosmetic projects like boat jetties and a handful of make-shift clinics.
Her words: “By the virtue of the daily crude oil extracted from Ilajeland, Ondo State is currently the sixth highest of the 10 oil-producing states in Nigeria and by extension a big contributor to the national treasury.”
She noted that several petitions had been written to the Federal Government and the commission over the reckless and fraudulent conversion of billions of naira meant for projects in the Niger Delta region.
“It should be clear and loud enough to the NDDC that the era of criminal abandonment of projects in Ilajeland is over, as we will no longer watch from the sidelines as helpless spectators.
“The Agadagba/Arogbo road is another major billion naira project that exists only in the imagination of the NDDC. “We reject in totality the erection of ordinary signboards for multi-billion naira projects for over a decade while the contractors get away with the mobilization sum, as this has been the lot of Ilajeland,” Ehinmowo added.
A youth leader, Mr. Olawale Ojukotimi, stated: “It is not enough for NDDC to come around and flag off Ugbonla/Oghoye road to the tune of N19 billion and thereafter neglect the project for over a decade.
“It is not only callous of NDDC to award such contract that involves the construction of bridges and solid roads to a mushroom real estate trading company called Moreno Nigeria Ltd., but it is also criminal.
“It is glaring to even the blind that Moreno has neither technical capacity nor equipment to engage in any construction of bridge other than buying and selling of houses or lands.”
The youths, who chased away the workers entering the premises of the commission and placed fetish objects at the entrance, urged the government to promptly intervene in the matter.
But a senior employee of the commission, Andrew Loto, told our correspondent that the problem had been resolved amicably with the youths.