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Published On: Wed, Jul 21st, 2021

Urhobo Community Raises Alarm Over Ramshackle Abadoned NDDC Road, Collapsed Classroom


LAGOS JULY 21ST (URHOBOTODAY0-Residents of Umiaghwa, Okpe Local Government Area, Delta State, have bitterly complained about the dilapidated road to the agrarian community abandoned in 2018 by the Niger-Delta Development Commission, NDDC, and a six-classroom built by the interventionist agency that collapsed, two years ago.
The villagers said they were forced to raise the alarm, as the shrunken school building and ramshackle road were beginning to have negative effect on the children and people of the community.
Pupils crammed like sardine in one class – Itie, inhabitant
An inhabitant, Adam Itie, who spoke to NDV, said: “The primary school building by NDDC contractor was actually started in 1996, deserted for over 12 years until they started building again and it took many years before it was finally completed. Then one morning, I was at home when I heard a loud noise in the community and when I dashed out, I saw children and teachers running, that was when I was told that the roof of the building had come down on them, luckily, no one was hurt.
“We are now managing the remaining four classroom blocks built by Delta State Oil- Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, we now put pupils in the same classroom not minding their class. Primaries one, two and part of three share one class and part of three, four and five share a class, not to talk of primary six and staff room,” he added.
Only two govt. teachers in Delta primary school – Johnson, resident
Another resident, Mr. Anagbo Johnson, recalled how the teachers had to cope on resumption after the long Covid-19 pandemic holiday, saying: “Some of the pupils were sent home to create the space for keeping safe distance and we did that for a long time before we stabilised things.
“Besides the collapsed building, the school does not have teachers, we have only two government teachers and the other two teachers were employed by the President-General of Okpe Union, North America, OUNA, Mr. Edwin Ederaine,” he lamented.
The community chairman, Mr. Idamakozi David, said their biggest fear in the community remains the uncompleted NDDC’s Oviri Okpe- Umiaghwa road project that was abandoned in 2018, urging the agency to compel the contracting firm handling the project to return to site, as people were running away from the community because of deplorable road.
“When the Umiaghwa road contract was awarded, we remember hosting a party, but as I speak to you, the road is completely bad, you hardly see a vehicle come to the community, especially this rainy season, and the only way to come into this village is a bush path that only motorcycles can go through, which you (NDV reporter) have experienced, today.”
The three-hour journey from Sapele to the community with a motorcycle, which practically swarm through large patches of pool of water that reformatted his white shirt with mud is a story for another day.
How we are coping –Mrs. Eyurodame, mother
A mother, Mrs. Onahite Eyurodame, who also pleaded with NDDC to come to their aid of the people, said: “You cannot come into this community with a vehicle during this period of rain, except when the rain has stopped.”
Mrs. Eyurodame said: “When we need some basic things like salt, meat and other things, we select some people who go to the town and buy them for us. Sometimes, it is not always possible, with no communication to reach out to anybody, the two or three nominated ones just sit at the outskirts of the town waiting and hoping a motorcycle rider comes through the bush path and we negotiate.”
Contractor said no cash from NDDC –Akpomieman, youth leader
Youth leader, Kingdom Akpomieman, said the community had sent a delegation to the road project contractor, who responded that NDDC was yet to release funds for commencement of work.
Akpomieman called on NDDC and President Muhammadu Buhari to help the community, saying: “We want the contractor back to site to complete this project so that we can at least go out of our community and see the world.” (Vanguard)

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