Posted by News Express | 7 November 2018 | 1,482 times
Youths from the coastal community of Igbokoda in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State, on Tuesday, took to the street, protesting against myriads of abandoned projects in the local government by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The youths under the auspices of the Ilaje Advancement Forum (IAF) expressed their dissatisfaction over the neglect of many multi-billion naira projects initiated in various communities in the local government area.
The protesters who blocked the main gate of the NDDC office in Igbokoda were armed with placards of various inscriptions such as ‘NDDC is a curse to Ilaje,’ ‘NDDC must work,’ ‘Ondo State Government has failed us,’ ‘ Federal Government has failed us,’ ‘NDDC is another yahoo yahoo’, among others.
Speaking to newsmen, the leader of the protesting youth, Juliet Ehinmowo alleged the officials of the commission of diverting fund meant for developmental projects into their private pockets.
She alleged that the officials had been using the NDDC as a conduit pipe to syphon money from the commission without any project to show for it.
She called on President Muhammadu Buhari to look into the activities of the NDDC, alleging that the commission had failed to perform in the State.
She said:” We have earlier written to the NDDC on the reckless and fraudulent conversion of billions of naira meant for laudable projects in the Niger Delta regions of Ondo State but nothing has been done. There are many abandoned projects in Ilaje land.
“It should be clear and loud enough to the NDDC that the era of criminal abandonment of projects in Ilaje land is over as we will no longer watch from the sidelines as a spectator despite the fact that this was the same local government who gave the impetus to Nigeria as a crude oil-bearing nation over 100 years ago in Araromi town.
“We reject in totality the erection of ordinary signboards for a multi-billion naira projects for over a decade while the contractors get away with the entire mobilization money as this has been the lots of Ilajeland since the inception of NDDC except for few cosmetic projects like boat landing jetties and a handful of cheap termite infested wooden hospitals. We will no longer tolerate this.”
However, the Ondo State representative on the board of the NDDC, Mr Lucky Ayedatiwa, while reacting to allegations by the youth, said that the commission was aware of the abandoned projects.
He explained that the commission was already taking steps on the matter, saying all contractors involved had been contacted and expressed the assurance that all abandoned projects would be completed.
•Excerpted from a Tribune report
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