The slow pace of development in Ika South Local Government Area has been blamed on the unending political factionalization that has been on for so many years. The ugly situation has deprived the people from speaking with one voice, especially in the area of political participation and empowerment.
This was the position of a People. Democratic Party (PDP) Chieftain in the local government and member, Governing Council of Institute of Continuing Education, Delta State, Hon. John Nwagimeje while fielding questions from Ika Weekly on Tuesday at Agbor. He observed that the numerous partly executed and abandoned projects, particularly the roads are resultants of the uncoordinated political process in the LGA.
"Look at all the road projects carried out, they are either poorly executed or not done at all. Take Odozi, Upper Odozi, Imudia, Azehen, Dr. Whyte, Ebeye, for instance, they are all half executed. I don’t know what is really responsible. At a time we had to meet the Commissioner of Works at Asaba who bluntly asked us to tell our people to always endeavour to do the job they are given. People representing us in government should tell us what is happening, why our local government seems not to be moving forward. I am saying this because if nothing is done to reverse the current trend, people may be stoned for soliciting for votes in 2011 in Ika South. I mean it. It is that serious. We cannot continue the way we are going. We need development," he said.
On the recent announcement of award of contract for the dualization of the old Lagos/Asaba road, Hon. Nwagimeje, who was the leader of Elders Forum of PDP Campaign Organization for Uduaghan/Utuama election in 2007, noted that "it has been long we have been hearing that. I read it from the newspapers. We pray the project is properly and speedily executed. The road is in a very terrible shape. The portion between Union Bank and Unity Bank is highly dilapidated. It is destroying people’s vehicles. If they do it, the entire people of Ika nation will be happy and grateful. At least, we will have something to show that we are part of the government. I want to use this medium to appeal to the government for the completion of the Oza Nogogo portion of the Ime-Obi-Alisimie-Oza-Nogogo Omumu road. This will remove the feeling of marginalisation and give the community a sense of belonging. Agbor people are not happy the way Oza Nogogo Community is being left out."
Responding to the question on who the authentic Ika South PDP chairman is, the party Chieftain said he was not in any position to say, especially against the backdrop that the matter was already in court. He, however, explained that initially, he was the one nominated and had his name sent to Abuja during the Convention but was surprised when the name of James Ebeye was substituted for the LGA chairmanship of the party while Mr. Kingsley Agbokigboro was announced as National Delegate in the place of Hon. Chief Sunny Akpenyi whose name was initially approved in the state. "When we came back home, our leaders met with the governor, where it was agreed that Mr. Ebeye should remain chairman. As a disciplined party man, I accepted the decision and we all began working with him.
"After sometime, we started hearing that there was harmonization between Hon. Ben Obuh and Dr. Cairo Ojougboh groups, and that Hon. Isaac Ulebor has been made chairman. We protested. I was among those who led the delegation of protesters to Asaba. For now I cannot really say much as the matter is in the court of law. However, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Matins Okonta has constituted a reconciliatory committee to reconcile the political leaders in the LGA. The chairman is Hon. Sunny Akpenyi. We are working very hard to make sure we achieve lasting peace.
"Because of this crisis, what is supposed to come to Ika South is not being properly channeled. Look at our sister LGA, Ika North East, you can see activities of government going on but in Ika South, not much is happening. What is responsible? Is it government or the people. If you ask me, I will say we are largely responsibly," he explained.
Hon. Nwagimeje noted that where there is no absolute peace, development hardly takes place." I do not know what the people of Ika South want. The chairman of PDP, Delta North and State Vice Chairman, Hon. Obuh, Engr. Doris Uboh, the Honorable Speaker, Barr. Okonta, Commissioner of Women Affairs and Special Assistant to the governor on Peace and Security, Hon. Sunny Ogwu are all from Ika South. What more do they want. The government has done a lot to ensure our children are in government. I am really not comfortable with the situation of things in our LGA. We have no reason not to enjoy genuine peace within the PDP family."
Hon. Nwagimeje commended governor Uduaghan and other South South Governors for their position on the amnesty granted militants and the issue of PTI noting that it was saddening for the Federal Government to downgrade the PTI, Efurun and upgrade the Kaduna school. He assured the governor that the people of Ika South have implicit confidence on him and will remain supportive of his administration. He also urged those given contract to always do the jobs for the good of the people.