By Ndu Samuel
An appeal has gone to stakeholders across the Ijaw ethnic nationality to initiate moves to draw the attention of all concerned, on the need to construct a road from Ogulagha Kingdom in Burutu Local Government Area to Warri in Delta State.
Varsity don and Professor of Drama, Dramatic Theory and Criticism at the Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island Bayelsa State Prof. Benedict Binebai made the appeal during an exclusive chat with The Liberator Newspaper on Tuesday.
Binebai, who is strong advocate of grassroot development and Ijaw emancipation noted that the construction of the Ogulagha- Warri road is long overdue.
While appealing to stakeholders to initiative actions aimed at drawing governments attention to the project, he said ”let me appeal strongly to politicians, administrators , writers, socio- cultural Associations, opinion leaders, representatives of Izon people in legislative Chambers etc, to commence the campaign and clamour for road from Warri to Ogulagha.”
He maintained that the construction of the road will definitely open up the area for rapid transformation and development for the benefit of the people. ”If Toru-ebe state creation is not possible now the governments owe the area in question a well constructed road.” He said
While enumerating the many benefits that the project, if completed will attract, he said ”the road will bring back our dying seaport, the road will bring industries to the area, the road will make businesses thrive, the road will strengthen our higher educational institutions, the road will control or reduce the rural urban migration, the road will revive our dead and dying towns, the road will erase marginalisation in terms of project distribution, the Warri- Ogulagha Road will bring government closer to the people.
”The nation has hugely and consistently in every passing minute, hour, day and month of the year and for generations running drawn oil wealth from the area to fund the Nigerian project, the Delta State project across ministries. The people deserve good life. Let the 95 year old man and woman today see that road before death comes. The road will prepare Izon nation for the post oil era.” He posited.
”Use our wealth to construct the road for us and for Nigeria. When oil is extrated from the area there are no visible impediments, so there should be no impediments about constructing that road. It is a project that will connect Western Ijaw and central Ijaw.
”Ijaw people you are seeing how roads have developed lands outside that terrain. Ours is an economically viable terrain. You can imagine how marvellous the area would have experienced transformation, economically, politically and culturally if we had this road some fifty years back.
”Everyday this road is not constructed stagnates our progress, everyday our road is not constructed our individual and collective destinies are messed up, everyday the road is not constructed we feel exploited, abandoned and marginalised.
”Everyday the road is not considered and constructed our future warns us dangerous in a post oil era, everyday the road is delayed our towns will dwindle in terms of population, everyday the road is not built, our oil wealth makes no meaning to us.
”Let us begin now to bring pressure to bear on the authorities to make this road a reality. Jesus Christ declares “ask it shall be given until thee, seek ye shall find, knock it shall be opened “. His words don’t fail let us use them faithfully to give us what will transform our land.”