The people of Obogoro Community in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, have issued seven days ultimatum to the state government to urgently address the issue of the coastal erosion that has claimed several lives and properties in the last 10 years.
The people said they cannot fight the government but that they will go to the street for peaceful protest stating that they will carry their canopies, cooking pots, sleeping mattresses and continue to sleep in front of the Government House gate until the contractor for the project to address the menace is mobilized to site.
Addressing a press conference on Wednesday March 29, in Yenagoa on behalf of Obogoro community, the convener of Save Obogoro Community from Erosion, Comrade Ada Gwegwe, said they were tired of everyday super-story from both the federal and state government.
According to him,the project should be more important to government because several lives have been lost and hundreds of buildings have collapsed into the river.
He asked, “How do the governor and political appointees sleep comfortably in their houses when lives are being lost everyday due to the coastal erosion?
“How do they feel when civil servants laboured for 30-35 years and save money to build and within a twinkling of an eye, the building will just enter into the river or what do you say of a farmer who builds his houses through farming and all disappear just like that yet the government is play deaf ear? It’s quite unfortunate”.
Comrade said loss to erosion by the community is much and decried the silence of government..
“We have lost close to 200 houses in the last 10 years and government has not deemed it fit to organize something for the people that lost their houses to start life afresh somehow. It’s like they are deceiving us everyday. I don’t know whether somebody somewhere is collecting the money or what? We are tired of failed promises”.
Speaking further, he said the contractor stopped working since last November and the government has not given the people any reasonable explanation on why the project was still lingering.
“They have promised, promised, promised and promised. The project in Obogoro community has become like an Indian film and we are fed up,” said.
According to him, the erosion ravaged community has reached up to many government organs for succour without result.
“The people of Obogoro community have gone to the National Assembly about three times where the federal government made several promises that have not seen the light of the day.
“We have written several letters to NDDC (Niger Delta Development Commission), federal government agencies, Bayelsa State government, and the people in charge of erosion control. There is no office we have not written to.
“We have gone on courtesy visit to Governor Douye Diri, the deputy governor, speaker of the State Assembly and members representing Yenagoa Constituency 1 in the State Assembly. We have visited who is who on this matter, all to no avail.
“Obogoro community has been passing through coastal erosion for over a decade. It’s unfortunate that we find ourselves in a system where governments don’t have value for human lives. Year in year out, the politicians come for campaign and make promises and they go back. At end of the day, the promises are not fulfilled.
“It’s quite unfortunate that Obogoro that is in the heart of Yenagoa, the state capital, has been battling this coastal erosion for this number of years,” he lamented.
The looming protest convener berated Governor Douye Diri for his failed promises to the people of Obogoro community.