By Chancel Bomadi Sunday
BOMADI – OVER 60 community leaders from riverine towns and villages in Delta and Bayelsa States congregated at Bomadi, headquarters of Bomadi Local Government Area, Delta State, freshly, to confer on the dearth of social amenities and deteriorating security challenges in the oil-rich areas.
Bishop of Bomadi Diocese of the Catholic Church, Most Rev. Hyacinth Egbebo, who presided, said the essence of the meeting was to enable riverine communities form a front to call on the federal and state governments to see the urgent need for road construction, electricity and potable water in the area.
He called on federal and state governments, political leaders from the areas to listen to the cries and pains of the people by working for development of the oil-rich area, which he said was seemingly alienated from enjoying the common wealth of the nation, despite being the goose that lays the golden egg.
Govt should pay attention
His words, “This place is the wealth of the nation and we do not have roads, electricity and potable water. The oil is getting dry and it will eventually become irrelevant due to the emerging technologies. You are community leaders and we should be able to tell our political leaders their failures. The federal and state governments should pay attention to our plights.
“Again, the community leaders have a role to play to curb the menace of kidnapping and related vices in our various communities. There is no more security in the riverine area and we can do something in our capacities to curb the challenge.
Government should also please pay attention to our plights; our rivers too are being polluted by cruising oil-laden ships with trashing propellers, yet it is the only source of drinking water for the people,” Egbebo said.
Deplore abduction, killing of missionary
The cleric condemned in its entirety the abduction of four foreign missionaries, who had been rendering free medical services to riverine community folk for over eight years, Enekorogha community in Burutu local government area of Delta state, describing the act as wicked and barbaric. One of them, Dr. Ian Squire later died
Meanwhile, the communities which resolved to form a pressure group to pursue their demands for social amenities and improved security, have now formed the Izon Communities Development Forum, ICDF, to press home their demands of social and infrastructural facilities.
Gateway projects to the creeks
They said the Bomadi-Tuomo-Ojobo road/electrification, Bomadi-Akugbene-Ezebiri road/electrification projects and others were gateway projects to the creeks of the Niger Delta and urged government to show responsibility to the plight of riverine people.
The 8-man forum with Mr. Mathias Apamor as chairman planned to work in synergy with various communities to curb the prevalent security threat in the riverine area, as well as to deal with the issues of electricity outage in Bomadi and environs, education and others.
It has Mr David Eyomowei as vice- chairman, Mr Theophilus Omoro Akpoebimone, secretary, Mr Timi Wekpe, assistant secretary, Mr. Debekeme Awolo, treasurer, Mr Zipamone Kpanaka Teddy, financial secretary, Stephen Olorogun, public relations officer, PRO I, Mr Gbenekeme Amgbare, PRO 2 and Elijah Timbo, youth leader.