The protesters according to reports were at the
Government House, Asaba, where they were addressed by the Chief of Staff,
Government House, Mr. Solomon Areyinka, who promised to convey their grievances
and requests to the state governor, Dr. Emmaunel Uduaghan, who was said to be
away on an official assignment. They were also at the State House of Assembly
where they were equally addressed by the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Martin
Okonta, who incidentally is from Ikaland. They equally visited the Nigeria
Television Authority, NTA, Asaba to press home their demands.
The Landlords and Landladies Association had during
the protest march, displayed placards
with inscriptions; Make Boji Boji Look Like Other Urban Centres in the State,
There Will Be No Election in Ikaland, Except All Projects Awarded Are
Satisfactorily Completed, Why is Dualization of Old Lagos/Asaba Road Abandoned?
Why Is the Dredging of Orogodo
River Abandoned and Why
Are Streets Reconstruction by Rotec Construction Company Abandoned? They made
it clear that the current administration under the leadership of Governor
Uduaghan has shortchanged the people of Ika nation, going by the deplorable
state of roads in the area particularly the pothole ridden Old Lagos/Asaba road
which has continued to be in the news in the last few years.
There is no doubt that the action of the Landlords and
Landladies Association was a commendable one as indigenes of Ika nation both
home and in diaspora have continued to applaud that bold and courageous action
by the association to draw the attention of government to the pitiable plight
of the people of Ika nation, in terms of infrastructural development.
What is however contradictory is the assertion by the
same association that the Governor, His Excellency, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan meant
well for the people of Ika nation. Considering the number of abandoned projects
especially the strategic old Lagos/Asaba road, which he (governor) personally
promised to dualised during his campaign visit to Ikaland in March, 2007. One
could have expected the protesters to properly situate their position and not
adding sycophancy to it.
Ika people expect any individual or group championing
their cause especially the seeming deliberate marginalization, to abide by the
principles of truth, transparency and consistency. It is clear for all to see
that apart from appointments, Ika nation has been sidelined by the government.
And our people must be fearless and honest enough to tell the governor so, and
not indulge in the praising orgy of a government that has done little or
nothing to alleviate the pains of the people. For there come a time in the life
of a man, a community or a nation that they will have to call a spade a spade.
What is more, a true leader is the one who appreciates being told the truth
rather than being deceived through sycophancy and unmerited praise.