By Sylvester Imonina
The news of Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori led-government’s decision to employ Julius Berger to construct three cloverleaf flyovers, pedestrian bridge and expansion of the Federal Government Road from DSC roundabout to Effurun roundabout in the twin-cities of Warri and Effurun, came as a welcome development to many Deltans. In fact, both the ayes and the nays applauded the well-thought out decision because it was seen by many as a paradigm shift from the practice of using construction companies that do not measure up in international standards and best practices when it comes to construction.
Also, in order to ameliorate the sufferings of Deltans plying the dilapidated Amukpe/Eku/Abraka/Agbor federal road on a daily basis, Rt. Hon. Oborevwori commissioned a known construction giant to swiftly embark on giving that long stretch of road a facelift, pending when the Federal Government would find a lasting solution to it. As at today, the said construction company is working day and night in order to bring an end to the excruciating pains of commuters on that road.
The Governor who is in a hurry to develop Delta State has completed more than fifty projects started by previous Government in the State; as he is a believer of “Government is a continuum”. Time might not permit one to mention all but it is important that a few is highlighted: the three kilometers internal road, the Administrative building, the Principal Officers’ lodge and the renovation of the story building at Demonstration School, all in Delta State University of Science and Technology, Ozoro; Construction of Okpolo-Ehwe/Uwherun Communities link road in Isoko South and Ughelli North LGAs; Ongoing construction work at upper and lower Erejuwa roads in Warri; nearly completed High Court Complex in Asaba; and the completion of lecture Auditorium and offices in Dennis Osadebey University, Anwai-Asaba and many other life impacting projects.
Now, coming to the main issue, I found myself somewhere in Delta Central where some young men were carelessly talking about how they would make sure that they make money from contractors who were going to handle internal road construction in their community. One of them boasted that nothing would stop him from completing his house this year, whether by crook or hook, because the contractors should be ready to meet his demands. One of the young men boasted that heaven will let loose if he does not get what he wants at the end of the day! Listening to their braggadocios, made me weep because their utterances clearly signifies a mindset that is anti-development.
My worry about these threats of anti-developments was heightened by something I experienced in the past. I could remember some years ago, an NDCC contractor was commissioned to tar two roads linking the popular Izomo road to Maternity Road in Ovwian, Udu LGA which was later abandoned because of the unfriendliness of some of these community youths and leaders. Those living around those two roads are the people still sufferering from that singular action. In fact, those that own cars are regular visitors to mechanic workshops!
The popular old Egiegi Road, Ujevwu, also in Udu LGA is suffering from a similar malaise! “Na me go must be in charge of so so so” keeps the said road where it is today. What a greedy set of leaders!
It is no longer news that Warri, Effurun, Udu and some parts of Delta State that are shadows of themselves today is a concomitant of “here na our Area, if you nor wan settle us pack”! Where is SHELL PET. DEV. CO., G-CAPA, HALIBURTON, B PLUS B, NISSCO and other companies too numerous to mention that collapsed/relocated from Warri to other parts of the country?
Do Deltans need to be reminded that Dangote chose Lagos State over the Niger-Delta region in establishing his refinery all because of the relative peace in Lagos. How about another gigantic refinery being built in Akwa-Ibom State by another business magnate. Lest I forget, even our own Delta-born and former Commissioner for Sports in Delta State, Amaju Pinnick chose Oyo State over Delta State in siting his agro-allied company. What does that tell us! “Greed and gbege” nor go kill some of us.
Today, a proper Warri Boy, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori is having sleepless nights on how he can fulfill his MORE AGENDA for Deltans and some enemies of progress are already planning on how to put a wedge to this all round development Agenda of the government of the day! Those emissaries of “katakata” shall surely fail.
As a stakeholder in this State, I want to urge all those genuinely committed to the Development of the State to be on the guard, as this opportunity for the uplifting of our economy and social security must not be allowed to be toyed with by few misguided elements. Some of us who are graduates and/ or qualified technicians want to be where we should be financially. We are tired of driving Tuketuke and riding Okada. Abi suffer nor dey tire us!
Writes from Uduere-Ughelli Community.