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No access road to Southern Ijaw, Bayelsa Lawmaker cries out


FOURTEEN years after the creation of Bayelsa State, and 10 years of the existence of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), an interventionist agency, most parts of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area are yet to be accessed by road.

This is causing serious concern in the area. Already, the Chairman of the Bayelsa state House of Assembly Committee on Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Konbowei Friday Benson, is not happy with the situation.

He, however, expressed his displeasure on the matter during a courtesy call on him by a socio-political group, the Southern Ijaw Initiative for Equal Co-existence, at the Assembly Complex on Wednesday.

According to the legislator who is representing Southern Ijaw constituency IV, in the house, ''dividends of democracy should be evaluated based on the standard of living of the electorate and not necessarily on the number of physical structures in an area''.

In an e-mail to our correspondent, the lawmaker is calling on public office holders and development agencies like the NDDC, to always put the collective interest of the people above their personal gains, while assuring that he would remain focused in his development initiative for the people of the constituency.

Benson stressed that his developmental initiative for his constituency go beyond the normal constituency projects, informing that he was using part of his allowances to embank on people-oriented projects in the area in a bid to give the people a sense of belonging.

He is also calling on the Federal Government to commence massive infrastructural development in the Niger Delta region in line with the amnesty programme, to give the people at the grassroots the assurance of government's sincerity in implementing the amnesty programme for ex-militants.

He maintained that only a well crafted development agenda could assuage the younger citizens of the nation from anti social vices, adding that the period of militancy brought a lot of set back to the country, resulting in the dwindling oil revenue.

He regretted that after fifty years of political independence, most rural communities in the Niger Delta were still wallowing in abject poverty, even as there were not commensurate social amnesties to show for the huge oil revenue that was being generated from the region.

He commended the leadership of the Southern Ijaw Initiative for Equal Co-existence, for the visit and promised to carry every body along in this political agenda.

Earlier, the leader of the group, Mr Kemepaomene Fawei, had declared the group's support for the Lawmaker, in his bid to contest for the State House of Assembly seat, come 2011.

According to him, findings by the group about Mr. Benson showed that he was the most reliable among the aspirants that have indicated interest to contest the Southern Ijaw Constituency IV House of Assembly seat.

He added that despite the daunting challenges, the lawmaker was still able to attract several developmental projects to communities in the constituency.


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