The people of Ayakoromor community in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State, Friday August 4 threatened that they will not vote for Governor Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa in his second term bid if he fails to complete the Egbo-Ide/ Ayakoromo bridge.
The riverine community handed down the threat today during a peaceful protest.
The Ayakoromor people who were joined in the protest by people of Egbo-IDE community as well as a Coalition of Concerned Civil Society Groups comprising Concerned Ijaw Transformation Ambassadors, CITA, Community for Rural Development Movement,CRDM, Concerned Ayakoromo Citizens,CAC as well as representatives of various riverine communities demonstrated within the rivers linking the two communities.
The protesters who carried placards with inscriptions such as, “Our bridge, Our life, Our development,” ” Ayakoromor/Egbo-IDE bridge No Support 2nd term from riverine the communities”, ” We are regretting now Okowa!!!”, “Okowa fulfill your electioneering promises at Kiagbodo Ayakoromor Bridge”, ” You have to start commissioning riverine roads&Bridge”,”Why Governor Okowa abandoned Ayakoromor PDP bridge project,” chanted solidarity songs round the town.
The Ayakoromo people also threatened to occupy the Delta State Government House with their protest until the their needs are met with the completion of the bridge which the incumbent governor allegedly abandoned for about two years since his assumption of office.
The Ayakoromo people stated that governor Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa’s led Delta State Government has no developmental agenda for the people at riverine communities for abandoning the project.
Speaking on behalf of Ayokoromor Activist Forum, Comrade Austin Ozobo said,” Let the bridge be completed. This is our stand. If he refuses to complete the bridge, riverine communities not vote for him in second term. We don’t have any business with Okowa if he fails Egbo-Ide, Ayakoromo and other riverine communities around are not part of his Government. This means, we will not support his 2019 election. We will not support him.”
Ozobo said,”We have it on good authority that this Project was awarded with the sum of N6,530,223,262.50. Your predecessor have paid the sum of N3,098,000,000.00 before leaving office. The balance remaining for your government to pay is N3,432,223,262,50. From our findings, we discovered that with the amount paid so far by the previous government; work on the project is in advanced stage. The contractor, to our findings, has completed 60% work on the Project.”
While noting that there other State Government abandoned projects in Egbo-Ide, Ayakoromo and other riverine communities, Ozobo stated that when completed the bridge will impact positively on the lives of the people in the affected communities.
President of the Foundation for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusaders, FHRACC, Alaowei Cleric Esq who corroborated the claims of Ozobo stated that governor, Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa promised at Kiagbodo Community during his electioneering campaign in 2015 that the bridge is his priority project pointing out that two years into administration, nothing has been done even with several appeals to him.
Cleric noted that the people gave the governor massive votes during his 2015 election.
The legal practitioner stated that the bridge has great Economic advantage to the people who cannot sit down and come out to vote for him in 2019.
According to him, “It cannot be done. It is not possible. They will not vote for him or they will not support him.”
“They are ready to work for his government, work for him but if he did nit complete the work, we don’t know what the people hold in their mind.
President General of Egbo-Ide Community, Tony Okporoko appealed to Governor Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa to commence work towards the completion of the project, stressing that the people are going through untold hardships as there are no access roads within, making it impossible for them to farm.
Chairman of Ayakoromo community, Rev.(Apt.) Wilson Monday Akarama called on governor Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa to redeem his promise to the people by completing the bridge project.
” This ought not to be. We believe in Okowa when he was coming in 2015. We believe in him that he was able to tackle our problems at Kiagbodo campaign that his first project is the bridge. We gave him massive vote. He ought not to reward us for the good we did for him this way. We gave him massive votes. It is our appeal he should redeem what he promised” pointing out that the peaceful protest is for the governor to fulfill his campaign promises.
A representative of Ayakoromo community Youth, Ebibofa Richard Abdullazeez stated that governor Okowa’s administration has betrayed and failed the riverine communities for abandoning the Egbo-Ide/Ayakoromo bridge.
“2019, Riverine Communities will not give him our mandate. He cannot represent us in 2019,”just as he urged him to make budgetary provisions for the completion of the project.