HardReporters can authoritatively report that earlier postponed May, 30th 2017 mass protest plan by the people of Ayakoromo Community in Burutu local government area, Delta State against Delta state governor, Mr. Ifeanyi Okowa in Asaba over the abandonment of the Ayakoromo/Egbo-Ede bridge projects has been rescheduled to unfold what they called the “unholy attitude of governor Okowa” even as they called on all Ngbile people to participate in the proposed protest.
Our correspondent learnt that worried Delta riverine communities and seven concerned civil society groups are in a serious preparatory move to stage what is been described as an all inclusive mass protest against the Delta state government and the protest which will be carried out in phases will kick off at Ayakoromo and terminate at the Delta state Government House Gate, Asaba after which all affected communities would be mobilized against the governor in 2019 general elections.
A communiqué earlier reported by HardReporters, issued at the end of a closed door meeting held in Ayakoromo, signed by Mr. Austin Ozobo, President, Mr. Asiayei Enaibo, Secretary, Mr. Salaco Yerinmene, Spokesman, Alaowei E. Cleric, Legal Adviser of Coalition of Civil Society Groups, copied Commissioner of Police, Delta State, Director of Department of State Security Services, Commanding Officer, 3rd Battalion, Nigerian Army, Effurun Barracks and made available to journalists, the people had stated that the Ayakoromo/Egbo-Ede Bridge project if completed, will connect over 30 communities in Burutu, Bomadi and Ughelli South local government areas, thereby breaching the gap of the absence of governance in those developmentally disadvantaged riverine communities.
They lamented the graveyard silence of Governor Okowa towards the bridge project and his responses to pleas by the communities’ dwellers through the mounds of letters that have stockpiled the governor’s office and in addition with the barrage of media publications authored by Coalition of Civil Society groups, adding that they have come to conclusion that the Ayakoromo/Egbo-Ede bridge project is a foregone issue in Okowa’s administration which perhaps is their best 2017 May 29th political gift.
“We wish to inform Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of our intention to embark on a peaceful protest in accordance with the laws of the land. Our resolve to embark on such peaceful protest is premised on the fact that your administration has seemingly abandoned the Ayakoromo/Egbo-Ide bridge project in Burutu LGA being awarded by your predecessor.
“We are aware of the fact that you promised Burutu people during your electioneering campaign in 2015 that your administration would take the project as one of its priority projects and ensure speedy completion when you assumed office. We are surprised after two years of stewardship; you have vehemently refused to give the project a deserving priority attention.
“Our suspicion became crystallized when you deliberately omitted the Project from the state’s budgets in two consecutive years notwithstanding the series of appeals from the various communities’ leaders to your government. In pursuance of the above, we the coalition of concerned Civil Society Groups in collaboration with the beleaguered riverine communities decided to register our grievances to the world in peaceful protest at the Project site at Ayakoromo town in Burutu LGA on the 30th of May, 2017.
“As law abiding citizens with oriented policies of non-violence approach, our peaceful demonstration will be conducted in most conducive manner under the leaderships of the following groups. To join the protest will include; Ayakoromo Activists Forum, Ijaw People Development Initiatives (IPDI). Foundation for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusade (FHRACC),Concerned Ijaw Transformation Ambassadors (CITA), Committee for Rural Development Movement (CRDM), Concerned Ayakoromo Citizens (CAC) and Representatives of the Various Riverine Communities being affected.” the communique said.