Yenagoa – â€œThese grand/great grand fathers have sacrificed their retirement years for this struggle simply because our Nembe/Bayelsa/Niger Delta Senators, House of Representatives members, governors and ministers from 1999 till date, including the current ones, have failed woefully to do their work and ensure that their people get their deserved development projects.
When will this irresponsible kind of political leadership and representation stop, and for how long will we the people tolerate it. Let us all please put every possible lawful pressure on these our leaders to ensure that the road projects are completed.â€
These words of the former Bayelsa State Commissioner for Information and Culture, Mr. Inuiro Wills, an indigene of Nembe, clearly captured the frustration of the people of the oil and gas rich Bayelsa East Senatorial district who in their thousands converged on the Ogbia end of the abandoned road project that would have linked their communities to Yenagoa the state capital.
The Nembe Creek is one of the most endowed enclaves in the troubled Niger Delta in terms of oil and gas deposit yet like other communities in the hinterland of Bayelsa West and Southern Ijaw axis cannot boasts of link road to Yenagoa the state capital.
Though the proposed federal government roads for the area had been on the drawing board since the sixties without any serious commitment to making it a reality, the area could only be accessed by speed boat.
Ironically, the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) sponsored Ogbia-Nembe road project, initiated about three years ago which commencement was hailed by many as a right step to opening up the hinterland has since been abandoned by the construction firm handling the project, Setraco due to alleged non funding.
It was therefore not surprising when last Tuesday the elders and people of Nembe kingdom led by no other persons than 80 year old Prof (Engr) Youpele Beredugo and renowned historian, 77 year old Prof Ebiegberi Alagoa staged a peaceful protest over the delay in the construction of roads to link the various riverine communities to Yenagoa the state capital.
The protest of the Nembe and Ogbia speaking communities against the federal government, SPDC and other oil companies, the Bayelsa State government, NDDC and Ministry of Niger Delta was for the construction of road network to Nembe Se and Ogbia territories that have been in the pipeline for sixty years and 20 years respectively.