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Abandoned project: 90-year-old monarch leads protest against NDDC

By News Express on 07/05/2015

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The Paramount Ruler of Agge Community in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa, HRH David Giant Isiayi, on Wednesday led angry indigenes of the community in a peaceful protest against alleged abandonment of a N4 billion Shore Protection contract awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The contract was awarded to an indigenous firm, Beks Kimse Nigeria Ltd., and expected to sand fill and reclaim over 2. 9Km of land of the community washed away by the surging ocean.

The Paramount Ruler and the angry indigenes of the community led by the Chairman of the Community Development Committee, Steven Fiopare, accused the contractor of engaging in illegal sub-letting of the contracts to Kameala Consult Service Company and abandoning contract site over alleged non-mobilisation by the NDDC.

According to the community, in spite of the peaceful disposition of the people to the contractors to work and save the community from extinction by the rampaging ocean, the contractor attempted to move its equipments away from site but was stopped by the indigenes of the community.

The protesting indigenes of Agge Community carried placards with inscriptions such as “JTF should not be used, don’t intimidate Agge people”, “NDDC, Beks, Kariala come and finish the job you were paid for!”, and “Agge project money should not be used for politics”. They said the community will not release the heavy duty equipments belonging to the contractor unless an assurance for completion of the job is given by the NDDC.

According to the Paramount Ruler of the Community, “The situation in Agge is threatening our existence as a people.

“The Ocean has claimed half of our homes and people. I have ruled the community for over 41years and the deceit and failure of the company awarded the contract to do the job is a shameful act. We don’t want to die, we only want the contract awarded completed.”

The Chairman of the Community Development Committee (CDC), Comrade Steven Fiopare, said the community has, over the years, lost people and houses to the ocean surge and the initial dredging work by the company has added to the problem of the community with incessant erosion into homes.

“We are in a big problem, houses are being washed away daily by erosion. If the high tide comes, many indigenes will run away to safety and may return to meet their homes washed away,” he said.

Also speaking, the Vice Chairman of the Community Development Committee (CDC), Joseph Iboh, said the contractors abandoned the project at the phase of sand filling and pilling with an excuse that he has not been paid, “we stopped him from moving his equipments.”

Source News Express

Posted 07/05/2015 03:29:22 AM

 

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