In a letter that was written by the Association and
signed by their Chairman and General Secretary, Mr. Jacob Onyemaka and Mr.
Christopher Onyekpe respectively, it was stated that the Orogodo River has been
abandoned, in spite of huge amount of budget that was made for it, that the
construction of drainage system and streets has not been completed, and that
the dualization of Old Lagos/Asaba Road has been abandoned. The statement
further revealed that the public water projects is no longer functional and
that the prople in the communities can only depend on private borehole as means
of getting water for use in their different homes.
“In view of these, we are saying that Ika should be
developed like other towns and cities in the state. We are saying that Ika
political representatives should give account of their stewardship before
asking for any fresh mandate. We are saying that there will be no election in
Ika land, come 2011, except these projects are seen to have been executed to
specification, the statement also revealed.
Mr. Vincent Arimokwu, the Chairman of Ika South
Landlords and Landladies Association, Agbor, during the visit to the Delta
State House of Assembly in the presence of the Speaker, Hon. Martin Okonta and
other members of the House, said that the protest against the marginalization
of Ika nation was long over due and that because of the shabby treatment that the
Ika people have been subjected to, it is difficult to compare the rate of
development in Ika land with other local governments in Delta State. “Reason
for this protest is very clear and could be seen practically, even by a blind
man. All the roads have been abandoned. Dredging of Orogodo River
has been put on hold. Pipes that have been buried underground for many years
have been abandoned. All these are trickish ventures. We are creating an
awareness that we have the same right and opportunity to enjoy what others are
enjoying in terms of infrastructural development. Ika people have been known as
peace-loving people and law-abiding citizens. We will not want our nice and
appreciative nature to be taken as our weaknesses to undo us,” he stated, also
saying that the Governor His Excellency, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan meant well
for the people and that the Ika people will continue to appeal to him to use
his good office to see to the abandoned projects in Ika land. He also pledged
for his support.
Speaking to the gathering at the Government House,
Asaba, the Chief of Staff, Government House, Mr. Solomon Arayinka, thanked the
association for the peaceful manner with which they approached the problem. He
said that most of the demands that were brought by the landlords and landladies
were part of the issues that were discussed during the town hall meeting when
the governor visited Agbor some months ago. He said that the governor is well
aware of some of the problems facing the people of the area. He promised to
convey the association’s message to the governor who was said to be absent when
the people visited Government House.
Also addressing the association at the State House of
Assembly, the Speaker, Hon. (Barr.) Martin Okonta said that the people are
truly not happy with the nature of the roads in Ika land. He pleaded on behalf
of the government for the people to exercise patience. “We are going to look
into the problem. The people concerned will meet the authority in charge. They
will take your letter to the appropriate authority,” he assured the people.
Some of the placards which were taken to Government
House and the State House of Assembly read: Make Boji Boji Look Like Other
Urban Centres in the State, There Will Be No Election in Ika Land, Except All
Projects Awarded Are Satisfactorily Completed, Why is Dualisation of Old
Lagos-Asaba Road Abandoned?, Why is the Dredging of Orogodo River Abandoned,
and Why Are Streets Reconstruction by ROTECH Construction Company Abandoned?
The association also visited the Nigerian Television
Authority (N.T.A.), Asaba. Correspondents of Delta Broadcasting Service (D,B.S)
and other media houses were at the venues of the protest march.