Obogoro erosion: Failure to keep to promises

By: Ada Gwegwe

In the course of our lives, government make promises. We promise ourselves, we make promises to others, friends, family, business, or political associates. A promise by a government is a ‘declaration or assurance to the people’.

Failure to keep promises in Nigeria has been part of our lives because we don’t hold our leaders accountable. Year in year out they make promises during election campaigns and even after elections, but they don’t keep to their promises because here in Nigeria, we don’t keep politicians on their toes and hold them accountable. They take the masses for a ride and it has become the norm.

We are forced to ask the federal and state governments, What have the people of Obogoro community done to be inhumanly treated this way and abandoned to such misery for many years now?

Many families have been rendered homeless and lives lost in the process. Posterity will surely remember this current federal and state government for allowing the people to pass through pain when they need them most.

It is so disheartening that the people of Obogoro have been abandoned by both the Federal Government and Bayelsa State Government.

The Bayelsa State Government has made several promises and we can categorically state that none of those promises has been honoured by it.

It is crystal clear that the indigenous people and residents of Obogoro have been abandoned to their fate.

Just a reminder that in the past three years, buildings and properties worth billions of Naira have been swept into the Ikoli river following a landslide arising from coastal erosion, which has left so many homeless. The people of Obogoro have been plunged into misery with no hope in sight.

Our worry is that for how long will this misery continue despite the numerous call on relevant authorities and NGOs to come to their aid.

We did not expect that today we will still be talking about Obogoro Community erosion, even after the last visit of the Bayelsa State Government led by Sen Douye Diri, who visited the erosion site and gave directives for the immediate commencement of the canalization project almost three years now the project has been likened to that of the coming of Christ.

It is obvious that the promise made by the State Governor is like a mirage that will never come to pass. Several letters have been written to both the federal and state governments, but all to no avail towards getting positive work done.

The Save Obogoro Community From Erosion (SOCFE) group suspended its planned protest last year December after the intervention of the Bayelsa State Government led by the Deputy Governor of the State.

The Deputy Governor, Senators Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo upon his visit made promises and gave hope to the people of Obogoro. But as usual, that promise is a mirage and we are yet to see any action after that visit. It looks obvious to us that the government has not made up its mind about this Obogoro erosion control project because it is like playing a merry-go-round with the people.

The group, Save Obogoro Community From Erosion will be marking its 3rd anniversary on Wednesday 18th January 2023, and we will make our stand known in respect of the peaceful protest that was suspended.

We must categorically state that it is within the right of the people to hold the government accountable and demand better living conditions.

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