Delta State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, at the weekend read the riot act to traditional rulers and youths mounting undue pressure on contractors executing government projects in their communities and warned them to desist from such act or risk being denied of such projects.
Speaking to newsmen in Warri shortly after the inspection of some projects being executed by the state government, the governor frowned at traditional rulers and their subjects who are not encouraging government and contractors in the smooth execution of such projects.
The Governor made it clear that such act was not acceptable to government and would be forced to move such projects to areas that give an enabling environment for execution of projects.
He said: “I want to use this opportunity to appeal to the youths, the communities and even to the traditional rulers to stop disturbing the contractors. I have told them that they have to be interested in the projects in their communities because when the traditional ruler is the cause of disruption of projects in a community, it is not very nice.”
“When you are putting undue pressure on contractors for money whether as a youth, as a community leader or a chief, it is not fair. We will continue to appeal to them but when we find out that a community is giving us problems, we are going to relocate the project to another place. I can use security to complete all my projects but is important that the communities have ownership of the projects. Because if the communities fail to have ownership of the projects, of course I will have to move the project to another community and I will tell the world why I moved it,” Governor Uduaghan said.
According to him, “We have a road project that is going on in one of our communities and the traditional ruler is asking for so much money from the contractor, this is not acceptable. In some other places, especially in Delta North, you will see communities assisting in completing the projects. But here, undue pressure is being mounted on contractors, as if they are doing us a favour.”
“If there is a school in this community, it is not my child that will attend the school; it is the children of the community that will attend the school. The hospitals that are being built; it is not my child that will use the hospital. It is the community people that will use the hospital. So for whatever project we are doing, it is in the interest of the community and so it is not acceptable that communities should be disrupting projects. I am appealing to the youths now but if any youth continues to disturb any project, we are going to find other ways to handle the youths and such projects”, he stated.
Inspecting the Multi Billion Naira Leisure Park at Oleri in Udu Local government area, the governor expressed satisfaction at the level of work and assured of its early completion, saying that: “By the time we finish, it will attract a lot of persons, it will empower a lot of people. It will empower over five thousand persons. It will attract a lot of persons because it is a place for leisure”.
“We started the beautification of the stretch from Effurun roundabout down to DSC here. So you see there are a lot of things that we did not predict to do but we are doing them now. For instance, we have to pay for the beautification. We are installing street lights right from Effurun roundabout down to DSC so that people who are saying they do not have street lights will now have street lights. We hope they will take care of it and they will not vandalize it,” Governor Uduaghan said.
Governor Uduaghan inspected the Ikengbuwa Primary School, Ajamimogha , Isibovbe Primary School, Ekurode Urhobo, Agbeje Primary School, Ugbuwangue, Yonwuren College, Warri, Central Hospital, Warri, Alderstown School for the deaf, Warri, Calvagina Primary School, Warri, Hussey College, Warri, Olodi Primary School, Warri, Maternal Care Centre (MCC), Ekpan, Delta Leisure Resorts, Oleri and Igbogidi Primary School in Udu local government area of the state.