By Brave Dickson
The Niger Delta Activists Forum has threaded mass action against the federal government if it fails to fix the Odukpani-Itu-Ikot-Ekpene road in Cross River State within 21 days.
The ultimatum was contained in a press statement issued by the group and signed by its National President, Comrade Success Jack and some executive officers.
It reads that: “Seven months ago, issues surrounding this same Odukpani-Itu-Ikot-Ekpene road was on the national spotlight. The Niger Delta Activists Forum agitated, vigorously and mobilized a massive protest, against the Federal Government to dramatize our pain.
“Fashola quickly released the sum of three billion and five hundred million naira, for immediate mobilization to site. We engaged further with him and the entire Ministry of Works and on the 24th December 2019 at their Ministry headquarters in Mabushi, Abuja and a truce was brokered.
“Some of the agreements reached were-
“1. That all ongoing Federal road projects within the Niger Delta region would be completed within the 2020 fiscal year save for a few with overlapping design timeline.
“2. That Federal Executive Council approval would be sort for the Odukpani-Itu-Ikot-Ekpene road.
“Weeks after this engagement, the Federal Executive Council did approve the sum of fifty billion and three hundred million naira for this project.
“But regrettably, the Honorable Minister for Works, Fashola, and the Ministry of Works have demonstrated no integrity in this regard.
“We are fully aware, how they deliberately chose to prioritize and fund, other projects over this one, forgetting that oil flows from here and not from those other places. The immediate environmental consequences are born here and not in those other places where they have prioritized over our region.
“The road in context has now become a national wreath of sorrows, tears and pains on our people and an emblem of shame, hanging over Fashola’s neck and the Ministry under his watch.
“The Federal Ministry of Works and the Federal Government must as a matter of urgency devote funds immediately to this project and save us, the untold pain.
“Seven months went by and no sign of Work on this road. The gridlocks, the pains and sufferings, the robberies, the loss of man-hours and the economic sabotage have recommenced in full force.
“1. We demand that the Honorable Minister quickly allocate the next tranche of cash inflow to address the Odukpani-Itu-Ikot-Ekpene road.
“2. The Honorable Minister must address us and the entire Niger Delta people on the genuineness of Federal Government’s commitment to fixing the Odukpani-Itu-Ikot-Ekpene road, to be followed with immediate action.
“3. That failure to undertake the aforestated actions within the next twenty-one days, the Niger Delta people will respond in the loudest way possible, including but not limited to sustained mass action.”