By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN â€” ELDERS and political leaders from oil-rich Oben community of Edo State, yesterday, protested alleged failure by the Federal Government and the Niger Delta Develop-ment, NDDC, to award the over N2 billion contract for the construction of the Oben-Umoghun road to indigenous contractors.
They also vowed to chase away any foreign contractor involved in any project in the oil and gas community.
The elders, in a letter addressed to the Managing Director of the NDDC, signed by the Enogie of Umoghun, HRH R. A. Aiwerioghene, Enogie of Oben; HRH Odoligie Ogiemwonyi, and six others, recalled that several projects in the area constructed by foreign contractors in the past later failed.
They said the people of the community had resolved that further contracts in the area must be given to an indigenous contractor who the people could always hold liable for any failure.
They warned that the youths of the area would resist any attempt to force any foreign contractor on them, adding that govern-ment should re-assign the contract which was awarded to ASKAY Construction Company to an indigenous contractor, AC Egbe NigeriaÂ Ltd. in the interest of peace.
â€œAC Egbe is solely owned by some indigenes of our communities, and duly registered. And it is on record that this company has carried out quality road construc-tion projects for the World Bank, state governments, NDDC and even Shell.
â€œSir, it is on record that this company was promptly recommended for this project by our various communities as soon as this project was initiated by the Federal Government,â€ the elders said.