By Dayo Johnson
AKURE—STAKEHOLDERS in Ilaje, the oil-producing area of Ondo State, weekend, raised alarm over alleged marginalisation and injustice to their communities by the present administration.
Under the auspices of Ilaje Advancement Forum, they kicked against the construction of wooden walkways and jetties in Ilaje/Ese-Odo by the state government instead of modern concrete bridges and walkways as obtainable in civilized countries.
In a petition by its Chairman, Secretary and Public Relations Officer, Messrs Olarotimi Abogun, Fadeshola Atilade and Olawale Ojukotimi respectively, the forum accused the government of cheating, neglecting and depriving the Ilaje people of social amenities.
The statement reads: “Our attention has been drawn to the recent approval of the sum of N11.29 billion for various infrastructural development within the state and to our dismay only N807 million was approved for the construction of wooden walkways and jetties in Ilaje/Ese-Odo which is just a paltry 8percent of the total sum approved for projects across the state.
“That does not equate to the 40 per cent which should have been allocated towards the development of our land ‘to whom much is taken, much should be given. It is a shame that the Ilaje Local Government is without electricity for the past 10 years.
“We the members of the Ilaje Advancement Forum on behalf of ourselves and the entire Ilaje people home and abroad equivocally and vehemently reject such primitive projects that only add more salt to our wounds and impoverished our people.
“We want to make it clear that the era which OSOPADEC funds are arbitrarily mismanaged, illegally diverted or misappropriated has passed as we will be closely monitoring how our money is spent.
“We demand that the contracts for wooden bridges and walkways should be rescinded and replaced with modern concrete bridges and walkways as obtainable in civilized countries.
“The relocation of OSOPADEC headquarters to Igbokoda immediately so as to make the agency more efficient and closer to its base of operation.”