Major stakeholders from Itsekiri ethnic nationality have decried the attitude of some politicians from the area who hinder development of their communities and people by failing to execute projects meant for them.
Itsekiri politicians stall NDDC projects, sabotage development
One of the concerned stakeholders and a Niger Delta youth activist, Hon. Charles Eyifome Pemu, lamented the bad leadership and greed of some political actors of Itsekiri origin, stating that they had kept their own people underdeveloped while misdirecting the youths of the ethnic nationality.
Pemu said in an interview with newsmen that the recent protests by some Itsekiri youths were misdirected because, according to him, they were uninformed about the true cause of underdevelopment in their communities.
He said that stakeholders who investigated the standing of Itsekiri in development agencies like the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, were surprised to learn that the people were being misled. He added that the stakeholders discovered that the NDDC had over the years awarded 57 projects for the benefit of the people running into billions of Naira.
Another prominent stakeholder, who pleaded anonymity, said that the revelation which exposed the truth about NDDC projects awarded for various Itsekiri communities, showed that if the projects were completed as planned there would have been a major positive transformation in the communities.
The concerned Itsekiri chief said that information gathered from the NDDC showed that of the 57 projects, only two had been completed, 14 others had been on-going for far too long and 41 others were feared to have been abandoned by the contractors who were themselves members of Itsekiri indigenous contractors.
‘The Itsekiri youths are being misguided by their selfish members who do not want the truth to be revealed’, the source said. ‘Their plan is to shift focus and attention of their failure, greed and wickedness against their people on the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC. If the Itsekiri people, particularly the youth that went on the streets knew the truth they will certainly be singing a different song’, the source familiar with the development explained.
The source which said the protests were politically motivated revealed that three million Naira was used to encourage the protest and expressed surprise that the protesters did not call their own, Hon. Daniel Reneiju representing their Federal Constituency to find out what has been happening to NDDC projects which were planned to benefit the Itsekiri people before hitting the streets.
“Hon. Daniel Reneiju knows far better what projects were penciled down for the Itsekiri people, he should also know who these projects were awarded to and why these jobs have not been completed. These projects have not escaped his radar except he wants to tell the people he is not properly representing them after three terms and that is not good enough. The people should ask him for a constituency briefing or a town hall meeting to enable him explain what he knows about the NDDC projects designed for the good people of Itsekiri land,” the stakeholder said.
Continuing he said, “Do you know that the Itsekiri indigenous contractors who failed to execute these projects have since collected their 15% mobilization fees? So, who loves the Itsekiri people more, the NDDC that awarded 57 contracts for the good of the people or the contractors who are short-changing their own communities?”
He added: “It is pointless blackmailing the NDDC because if they had completed those jobs by now the commission would have moved ahead.”
He warned that more detailed revelations would come out if Hon Daniel Reneiju refused to properly brief the people about the true position of things regarding NDDC projects for the Itsekiri people.