By Jimitota Onoyume
WARRI—ITSEKIRI women under the aegis of Warri Women Consultative Assembly, yesterday, hailed Chief Rita-Lori Ogbebor for securing a high court order freezing N2.2 billion meant for Itsekiri Regional Development Council, IRDC.
President of the body, Madam Queen Eweto and Vice President, Madam Queen Tene, who spoke to Vanguard at a meeting of the women, said they were happy with the action of Chief Ogbebor, stressing that if she had not stepped in, the money would have been allegedly diverted into private pockets.
They spoke as other women chorused: “We are grateful to Chief Rita-Lori, she has saved the money to develop Itsekiri communities.”
The President of the body, Eweto, and the vice, Tene, in their separate comments said the money should be used to develop Itsekiri communities, adding that most of the communities were in shambles.
“We want good roads, hospital and light in Itsekiri communities. We like what Chief Rita-Lori did. The money should be used to develop our communities and not for private pockets. Go round, there are several Itsekiri communities with no light and roads. This money will go a long way to bring development to the communities,” Tene said.
The women said Itsekiri communities will meet and decide on projects the money should be used for in the various communities, adding that at the end, it will be released for the projects and effectively managed.
“We will have a meeting of all our villages on how to disburse the money and what it should be used for. We don’t want people to divert the money to their private pockets. We want development, we are not mugu (fools ),” Tene said.
The women also said some of the money should also be used to empower indigent Itsekiri women who can no longer go to the river to catch crayfish because of the pollution of the waterways.
“As women, we can no longer go to fish or fetch crayfish because our waters are polluted. Some part of the money should also be used to empower women so we can trade. Other areas we heard get similar money, they assist their women to trade. They also support their children. We want all these. We don’t want individuals to divert the money to their pockets”, Eweto added.