Bayelsa Gov, Monarchs Urge Relocation of East West Road Oversight to Niger Delta Ministry

Bayelsa Gov, Monarchs Urge Relocation of East West Road Oversight to Niger Delta Ministry

Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, along with the traditional rulers in the state, represented by the Chairman of the Traditional Rulers Council, King Bubaraye Dakolo, have jointly appealed to President Bola Tinubu for the return of East West Road supervision to the Ministry of Niger Delta Development. 

This call was made during a working visit of the Minister of Niger Delta Development, Abubakar Momoh, to Bayelsa State.

The governor and traditional rulers emphasized their desire to pursue the swift handling and construction of the East West Road, citing its long history of neglect and its critical importance to the region’s development. 

They also urged the relocation of the ministry from Abuja to the Niger Delta region itself.

King Dakolo expressed the frustration of the people, noting that the road had been under construction for an extended period without completion. 

“Despite being the source of the nation’s wealth, the Niger Delta had been deprived of basic infrastructure like roads,” he said.

He further called on President Tinubu to expedite the transfer of the road’s oversight to the Ministry of Niger Delta Development, emphasizing that the local leaders were tired of exploitation while their people suffered.

The traditional ruler also recounted the devastating flood experienced the previous year, which divided the East West Road into two segments, making it nearly impassable.

The people were forced to rely on boats and military trucks in some areas, painting a grim picture of their plight.

The monarch also addressed the issue of oil theft, pointing out that the majority of Nigerian elite were unaware of its true implications. 

He clarified that the victims of oil theft were often individuals who, due to economic desperation, resorted to illegal oil activities, which had severe health consequences.

The king emphasized that availability of petroleum products would deter people from patronizing illegal refineries and reduce oil theft, ultimately improving security in the region.

King Dakolo stressed that addressing these pressing issues was essential for the success of the minister’s role in the region.

He also urged the ministry and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to explore alternative routes beyond the East West Road to ensure that the region’s people could benefit from their wealth.

Earlier, the minister said he visited the governor and the traditional rulers to brief them about his working visit to Bayelsa, where he aimed to inspect ongoing projects by the NDDC, including the East West Road, and engage with stakeholders to promote peace in the region.

He pointed out the alarming condition of a section of the East West Road leading to Bayelsa, expressing concern about the region’s vast wealth production and the road’s deteriorating state. 

Momoh assured King Dakolo that President Tinubu had a deep interest in the region’s development, exemplified by the renaming of the ministry from Niger Delta Affairs to Niger Delta Development.

As a traditional ruler with significant influence, the minister requested the ruler’s support in advocating for the East West Road’s swift rehabilitation and its transfer to the Ministry of Niger Delta Development for immediate attention. 

He acknowledged that the Ministry of Works had numerous road projects demanding its attention, making it essential for the road to be under his ministry’s purview.

Additionally, the minister informed the rulers about his efforts to secure the support of the governors of Rivers and Bayelsa States in addressing this matter. 

Momoh stressed the importance of maintaining the current peace for sustainable development and combating oil theft in the region. 

The minister earnestly sought the ruler’s cooperation and suggested that he uses his connections with other traditional rulers to mobilize support for the administration of President Tinubu.

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