Ibaji youths appeal for Buhari, Fashola’s intervention on abandoned Otuocha-Ibaji-Idah road project


 

The Coterie of Ibaji Youths of Nigeria, COIYN, an umbrella organization for youths in Ibaji Local Government Area of Kogi State has made a passionate appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to approve funds for the construction of Otuocha-Ibaji-Idah road to alleviate the sufferings of Ibaji people and give them a sense of belonging in the country.

The group informed the president that Ibaji local government created since 1996 from Idah local government, has remained without any motorable road, electricity, functional health facilities and other basic amenities.

It will be recalled that the federal government had in December 2009 awarded contract for the construction of the Otuocha-Ibaji-Idah road at the sum of N7.2 billion to Nigercat Nigeria Limited and N2.5 billion was reportedly released as mobilization fund for the about 90-kilometer road project identified as Contract No. C/6024.

Although about 35 percent of the contract sum had been spent, there is nothing on ground especially within the Ibaji axis that is commensurate with the fund already released.

“We have it on good authority that the contracting firm (Nigercat) which staged a symbolic appearance on site early 2018, has since stopped work and moved its men and materials from site. This is after the Federal Ministry of Works, Power and Housing had listed the road among those to be constructed/rehabilitated in year 2018,” Chairman of COIYN, Mr. Tony Edike, lamented during a Peace Summit organized by the group at Ejule-Onu community in Ibaji yesterday.

While appealing for the urgent intervention of President Buhari, Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN and Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello on the road project, the COIYN leader pointed out that completion of the project would enable the nation to benefit from the vast agricultural produce from Anambra West, Ibaji and Idah local government areas.

He added: “The construction of this road would engender economic, social and political developments within the vast agricultural communities in Anambra and Kogi states; travel time from Anambra to Abuja would be reduced by three hours and thousands of jobs would be created as enhanced accessibility would lead to avalanche of economic activities while the annual devastating floods in the area would be controlled through adequate water channels that will arise from construction of medium and large sized bridges on the route among other tangible and intangible benefits.”

Addressing participants at the Peace Summit, the COIYN leader, Mr. Edike; Mr. Jerry Nwuchola, President of COIYN, Mrs Mercy Ameh, COIYN Woman leader and Mr Joel Ocheja, Secretary Ibaji LG Peace Committee, urged Ibaji youths to shun armed conflict, hard drugs and other vices that could destroy their future.

Various leaders of the group who spoke at the one-day summit, urged the people of the area to endeavor to live in peace with their neighbours and embrace meaningful economic activities that would enhance their lives and boost the economy of Ibaji local government.

Earlier during a courtesy call on the traditional ruler of Ejule-Onu community, His Royal Highness, Joseph Ogwu, the COIYN leaders emphasized the need for peaceful coexistence among various communities in Ibaji LGA.

The royal father applauded the group for embarking on the peace initiative and pledged that he would continue to work with other community leaders to ensure peace among their people.

At the end of the summit, the participants unanimously resolved to pursue peace in Ibaji LGA and lead an aggressive campaign against communal feuds, hard drugs intake by the youths, cultism and school dropouts, which were identified as major threats to peace in the council.

– Ends –


joshua

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