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Delta villagers accuse Presco of causing flood in community

…Company condemns accusation, says flood national catastrophe

By Emma Amaize

EKU- RESIDENTS of Ovre-Eku community in Ethiope-East Local Government Area, Delta State, has accused Presco Plc, an Edo State-based agro-industrial establishment of causing flood in the community.

President-General of the community, Chief Joseph Ukueku, made the allegation in an interview with journalists in Eku.

We’re not responsible for flood — Presco

But Head of Administration, Presco, Mr. Anthony Uwajeh, in a sharp retort, rebutted the charge, saying: “It is not true that the activities of Presco has anything to do with flooding, if indeed the area in question is affected by flood, which is not unusual at this period of the year. The flood situation this year is almost a national calamity and Edo and Delta states are among many states in Nigeria adversely affected by flood as shown on television daily,” he added.

Presco cause of our problem, community insists

The community, however, insisted that Presco should respect the decision reached at various meetings in Edo and Bayelsa states by stopping operations pending the resolution of the boundary dispute between Edo and Delta states.

Chief Ukueku stated that Presco was still moving equipment to bulldoze lands in Ovre-Eku and Abraka areas in breach of agreements that all parties involved should maintain the status quo.

“As l am speaking with you now, due to Presco’s disobedience, floods have engulfed  all the farmland in the community, thereby destroying crops and other valuables, l hope both states (Edo and Delta) would look into this issue critically because we are already facing a big loss due to the flood,” he said.

Villagers relocate

Ukueku said that many villagers had relocated from the community because of flood, calling on the state government to call Presco to order for peace to reign.

Against national interest to stop operations

However, Presco’s Mr Uwajeh told NDV: “While Chief Ukueku’s agenda has remained to stop Presco’s operation as canvassed in his several petitions, the position at both the Senate (of the Federal Republic of Nigeria) and at the joint Boundary Committee held in Benin is that it is not in the best interest of the local, state and national economy to stop the operations of such an agro-investment that has enormous economic impact on the economy in terms of employment generation, food security, import substitution, forex earnings, etc.”

“Rather, efforts should be intensified to fast track the work of the National Boundary Commission to conclude the demarcation of the boundary between Edo and Delta states and announce a clear decision without further delays,” he asserted.

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