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Second Niger Bridge: Delta, Anambra Indigenes Groan Over Poor Compensation

Ignatius Okpara, Asaba

Residents of Oko-Amakom community in Oshimili South Local Government Area of Delta State, on Thursday staged a protest over alleged neglect and non-payment of compensation to them by the federal government on the 2nd Niger-bridge.

The protestants, made up of mainly indigenes of Anambra and Delta States, had also kicked against what they also described as non federal government presence in the area.

African Examiner reports that the residents, who were affected by the construction of the second Niger Bridge, “said government had failed in paying adequate compensation to us”.

However, Motorists plying the Asaba/Onitsha Express way had a hectic time as the protesters barricaded the ever-busy road.

Chairman of the community, Chief Jideofor Anosike of Power line who spoke to reporters, stated that although, they are in full support of the construction of the Second Niger Bridge, which he agreed would boost both economic and Social activities in Anambra and Delta States, but frowned at the poor compensation of the community by government.

He noted that a four-bedroom palour which cost them millions of naira to build, was being compensated with only a hundred thousand naira.

Hear him, “we are not against the construction of the second Niger Bridge which will affect our community; it will boost economic and social activities in the South-East and South States of Anambra and Delta, but some people within the system have used the opportunity to enrich themselves by under-paying the indigenes and residents whose farm crops, houses and other sources of livelihood would be affected”.

The chairman accused a consultant to the Federal Government, Mr. Mark Ugorji of using the Police to force the poor villagers out of their abodes.

Also speaking, a 99 year old Pa Olise Okeluo of the community told reporters that he was being forced to leave his ancestral home without adequate compensation and wondered what fate had for him.

Pa Okeluo, who used a walking stick to support his weak bones, however, rained curses on the consultant, Mr. Ugorji for allegedly “short-changing the poor villagers”.

He also expressed support for the construction of the bridge but, however, chose to die on Oko-Amakom soil than leave the community without an alternative place of settlement and accommodation.

The aged elder statesman, called on president Goodluck Jonathan to use his office to investigate what is going on in the community.


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