By John Omodi
Our people are crying for lack of tarred road. Olu people south of Asaba along River Niger are crying for gross neglect of their area – no tarred road, no electricity.
We have been crying for these for over four decades but no response from Governments. These Olu people comprise Clans/Kingdoms of Oko in Oshimili South LGA, Abala, Utchi, Inyi, Onuaboh, Okpai, Aboh, Akarai, Umuolu, Adia, Onuogboko, Utuoku, Onya and Ase (Asaba Assay) in Ndokwa East LGA of Delta State.
Indeed this area is the greatest food producing area in Delta State but no tarred road linking them to Asaba Delta State capital. Big yams are produced first in this part of Nigeria in July each year without fertilizers and irrigation before any other area in Nigeria harvest theirs. Other food products are produced abundantly including fishes on the alluvial
soils of River Niger plain, ponds and lakes.
There are over 30 (thirty) communities in this area and yet no tarred road linking them to Asaba and East-West Road at Patani in Delta State, a distance of 108 kilometres from Asaba end of the Niger Bridge.
Federal Government and Delta State Government are denying these communities tarred access road and electricity and yet they are oil and gas bearing. Okpai among other communities produce oil and gas and Independent Power (IPP) power plants are located there owned by Agip Oil Company. In fact Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, the former President of Nigeria when he visited the area during his rule directed that electricity supply generated by the IPP power plant be supplied to the communities in the area but Agip Oil Company operating the power plant refused. Instead the power plant supplies electricity to the rest of Nigeria. The former Head of State General Ibrahim Babangida visited the area in 1987.
It is noted that these Clans/Kingdoms have existed for more than 500 (five hundred) years and had dealings with Royal Niger Company, British Colonial Governments and European missionaries before the creation of Nigerian State and before they had dealings with Asaba, Idah and Lokoja which now have networks of tarred roads.
Before colonial times they were kingdoms/city states. In fact all the communities are oil and gas bearing and oil and gas are exploited in some of the communities at present but no tarred road linking them and no electricity.
Olu people are peace loving and abhor violence. They are friendly and are one of the most hospitable people in Nigeria.
NDDC and Ministry of Niger Affairs have not showed any presence in the area. The former Delta State Governor, Chief James Ibori promised to construct the road linking the communities but he failed to do it.
Even the Niger Delta Technical Report: Roadmap to peace (2) by Ledon Mittee Committee of 2009 - Special Reports in Vanguard of
October 9, 2009 stated at Page 3 under Short-term 2008 – 2010 told Delta State Government to construct Asaba – Okpai – Aboh – Umuolu – Patani – East/West Road. This is the road we are requesting.
His Excellency, President Goodluck Jonathan, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, the Senator representing the area,
Dr. Olisa Imegwu, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, the members of House of Representatives representing the area please save us from
marginalization and underdevelopment by constructing the tarred road linking these (over 30) communities, clans/kingdoms to Asaba and Patani (East-West Road). Thank you sirs.
May God bless Olu Ethnic Nationality. May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
John Omodi writes from Asaba.