PRESS STATEMENT BY THE NIGER DELTA ACTIVISTS FORUM OVER THE DELIBERATE PUNISHMENT OF THE NIGER DELTA PEOPLE BY BABATUNDE RAJI FASHOLA IN THE WILLFUL NEGLECT OF THE ODUKPANI-ITU-IKOT-EKPENE ROAD, HELD AT PETEVILL HOTEL STATE HOUSING ESTATE CALABAR READ BY COMMRADE SUCCESS JACK (National President)
Good morning comrades, and gentlemen of the press.
Seven months ago, issue surrounding this same ODUKPANI-ITU-IKOT-EKPENE ROAD was on the national spot light. The Niger Delta Activist Forum (NDAF) agitated, vigorously and mobilized a massive protest, against the Federal Government to dramatize our pain.
FASHOLA quickly released the sum of three billion and five million naira, for immediate mobilization to site. We engaged further with him and the entire Ministry of Works and on the 24th December, 2019 at their Ministry headquarters in Mabushi Abuja and a truce was brokered.
Some of the agreements reached were;
1. That all ongoing Federal road projects within the Niger Delta region would be completed within the next 2020 fiscal year save for a few with overlapping design timeline.
2. That Federal Executive Council approval would be sort for the ODUKPANI-ITU-IKOT-EKPENE ROAD.
3. That the ODUKPANI-ITU-IKOT-EKPENE ROAD would be placed, on the list of projects to benefit from priority funding. Meaning that executive was to draw monies from SUKUK bone which the Federal Government would be accessing by January of 2020. And work was expected to commence before the end of February 2020 etc.
Weeks after this engagement, the Federal Executive Council did approve the sum of fifty billion and three hundred million naira for this project.
But regrettably, the Honorable Minister for works FASHOLA, and the Ministry of Works have demonstrated no integrity in this regard.
We are fully aware, how they deliberately chose to prioritize and fund, other projects over this one, forgetting that oil flows from here and not from those other places. The immediate environmental consequences are born here and not in those other places where they have prioritized over our region.
The road in context has now become a national wreath of sorrows, tears and pains on our people and an emblem of shame, hanging over Fashola's neck and the Ministry under his watch.
The Federal Ministry of Works and the Federal Government must as a matter of urgency devote funds immediately to this project and save us, the untold pain.
Seven months gone bye and no sign of work on this road. The gridlocks, the pains and sufferings, the robberies, the loss of man hours and the economic sabotage has recommenced in full force.
1. We demand that the Honorable Minister quickly allocate the next tranche of cash inflow to address the ODUKPANI-ITU-IKOT-EKPENE ROAD.
2. The Honorable Minister must address us and the entire Niger Delta People on the genuineness of Federal Government's commitment to fixing the ODUKPANI-ITU-IKOT-EKPENE ROAD to be followed with immediate action.
3. That failure to undertake the afforestated actions within the next twenty one days, the Niger Delta People will respond in the loudest way possible, including but not limited to sustained mass action.
For the Niger Delta People,
Comrade success Jack
Comrade Bernard Okori
Comrade Paul Abang Ajie
(Chairman, Cross River State Chapter)