The Eleme section of the East-West Road in Rivers State
The siege on the Eleme section of the East-West Road in Rivers State by youths from the area has been suspended following the mobilisation to site by contractors of the Federal Government, Renolds Construction Company Limited.
The suspension of the blocking of the road, which began seven days ago was announced by the Chairman of Eleme Local Government, Obarilomate Ollor at a press conference addressed at Trailer Park, Ejamah, Ebubu Eleme, where RCC deployed its equipment to begin work on the road.
The local government chairman said the decision to suspend the protest was taken after a painstaking consideration of a number of factors, which included the need to allow work commence on the road, the suffering the people, businesses and services in the area have gone through during the period of the protest and the need to give the Federal Government the benefit of doubt that it was committed to reconstructing the road.
He however said that if no reasonable action is taken to reconstruct the raid within a reasonable time, the people would not hesitate to return to occupy the road.
“What we have on this road is completely reprehensible,” Ollor lamented about the deplorable condition of the collapsed road which links major ports and industries in the area as well as Akwa Ibom, Cross River States and several local government areas.
Ollor thanked Eleme Youth Council, Ogoni Youth Federation, Movement for the Survival of Izon Ethnic Nationality in the Niger Delta, Okrika Local Government, Ogu Bolo Local Government, Tai Local Government, Khana Local Government, Andoni Local Government and Opobo Nkoro Local Government for the support they have during the protest.
The youths had been on the road since Monday July 26th after two ultimatums the local government gave to the Federal Government to rework the road was not heeded.
But last Thursday, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, said government had released N2.5billion to the contractor to move to site, while efforts would be intensified to source the N85 billion needed to complete the project from the Sovereign Wealth Fund. The amount includes compensation to property owners whose houses would give way for the project.