By Benneth Oghifo
There is anxiety over execution of the Bodo-Bonny project as Jumbo Major House of Bonny are protesting alleged shut-out by Messrs Julius Berger Construction Company, the contractor handling the project and the Bonny Chiefs Council.
The Jumbo Major House accused Julius Berger and Bonny Chiefs Council of shutting the House out in the scheme of things concerning the project that would traverse a vast territory, where greater portion of the area in the Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State, allegedly belongs to them.
In a petition by their counsel, K. C. Nwufo, SAN, to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, and copied Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), the Office of the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on Political Matters and the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola and also copied the National Security Adviser, the Director General Department of State Services (DSS), as well as the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Chairman and members of 17-man Peace Committee on the project, the Federal Controller of Work/Engineers Representative at the Federal Secretarait and MessrsJulius Berger Nigeria Port Harcourt/Bodo, the highlighted their grievances.
“Following an earlier letter dated 19th April, 2018 to Messrs Julius Berger Nigeria, the Senior Special Assistant to the President (Political), directed that Jumbo Major House of Bonny be fully carried along in the project henceforth, as a greater portion of the Bodo-Bonny Road alignment, including the NunabieBridge within the Bonny Local Government Area falls within territory. The Presidency also directed that Chief Prof Jasper F. Jumbo,-The Chairman, Legal Trustee and Traditional Head of Jumbo Major House should be consulted on the project, following his input.
“A 17-man Peace Committee was set up by the Hon. Minister of Housing, Works and Power, to look into the demands of the Jumbo Major House and others in the three concerned LGAs in Rivers State, to harmonize them for execution of the project.
Jumbo Major House Masses are demanding proper scoping of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), part of the Dredging Sub-contract, Security Arrangement, Community Liaison Officer (CLO), Building of Jumbo Major Community Hall (Opuwan) as fall-outs from the project.”
The Jumbo Major House Stakeholders are also demanding to be part of the ongoing chippings sub-contracts, community security arrangement and Bonny Local Government Area Employment Allotment through the Legal Trustee/Representative of the House, Chief Jasper F. Jumbo.
The Counsel alleged that over 80% of the sub- contracts were doled out to the other Bonny indigenes, Houses, Communities as well as non- indigenes without relating, consulting with or including the Jumbo Major House comprising of 21 villages and Fishing Ports.
The people expressed surprise that for a road project that span over 20kms within the Bonny LGA both the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing and Julius Berger are yet to scope out, identify the true land owners though Jumbo Major House had detailed their communities and interest, including NunabieCommunity.