Many residents of Ovrode oil community in the Isoko North Local Government Area of Delta State on Monday for the second time barricaded and shut down the ever-busy Ughelli/Asaba Expressway, protesting against alleged neglect and marginalisation by the Nigerian and state governments.
The protest, which started around 7:00 am has in attendance community men, women and youths. The protesters besieged the Ughelli/Asaba Expressway with placards bearing various inscriptions such as, “Ovrode is bleeding, “No federal and state governments’ projects in Ovrode Community”, “Our Grammar school is in a bad shape, no teachers and no chairs”, “No constituency projects in Ovrode Community,” “Oil exploration in our community since 1963 till date, nothing to show for it”, among others.
Commuters and motorists were seen stranded following the gridlock created by the protest.
Addressing the protesters, the President General of Ovrode Community, Felix Efedhoma said the Nigerian government and the state government have abandoned the community despite being an oil-rich community since 1963 till date.
“Ovrode as an oil-producing community since 1963 till date, has no federal or state government projects in the community. Ovrode community is seriously bleeding. No Primary Health Care Centre in the community, no potable water to drink, both primary and secondary schools in the community are dilapidated.
“Since two weeks ago that we had the first protest, could you believe that we have not heard from the state or federal government. It was four days back that the local government council chairman called me and appealed that he will see what he can do. There has not been any response from the honourable member representing Isoko North constituency at the Delta State House of Assembly. This is to show the height of negligence from the state and federal governments.”
Corroborating the President General’s speech, the youth leader of Ovrode community, Viano Unweh and the community women leader, Tina Ataibuno, frowned on the poor state of infrastructural development in the area.
They vowed to continue to hold protests till both the state and federal governments answer them.
According to them, they are a peaceful loving community that has supported both the state and federal governments in all elections since 1999 till date, but the presence of governments at all levels is not felt in the community.
They said they have been taken for granted for too long.