…insists that community groups have a stake and the right to ensure that projects in their domain is done up to standard.
The Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF) has frowned at the statement by the Rivers State (RSHA) House of Assembly Committee on Works which applauded the poor quality work on the Bori-Kono road, calling it good standard, amidst incontrovertible evidence to show that the quality of work is substandard.
OYF also berated the RSHA Committee on Works led by Hon. Michael Chinda for saying that groups and members of communities do not have any right to monitor government’s projects in their environment. This statement is not only laughable and political, it leaves us with more to desire. It is the social responsibility of community indigenous people who are end users of any projects to act as watch dogs to ensure that projects in their localities, funded by taxpayers money are done to standard and specifications.
This is in line with the United Nation’s provision on the Open Governance Partnership (OGP) which provides for inclusion and participation by the citizens.
Recall that this is the second phase of the Saakpenwa-Kono Road which phase 1 (Saakpenwa-Bori axis) was commissioned earlier in the year in the series of projects that’s were commissioned by the governor as part of the 2yrs in his second term in office. It was obvious to all, the quality of work done by the same contractor on the phase one of the same road. Nobody complained about it because a good work was done. Why then will any one want to raise alarm if similar quality was carried out on the second phase? It is important to note that the terrain of the land is even worse on the axis between Bori-Kono than the Saakpenwa- Bori axis, the reason we should even expect a deeper excavation and stone base and sharp sand feeling before surfacing and asphalting.
Recall that consequent to the alarmed raised by the Ogoni Youth Federation and complaints to the Rivers State House of Assembly over the substandard job the contractor handling the Bori Kono road, Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) is doing. The Rivers State House of Assembly Committee on Works invited OYF and CCECC to a hearing. During the said hearing, OYF made its submission with pictorial evidences and demanded among other things the scope of work of the road but CCECC did not make any case for itself.
Consequently, the Committee resolved to visit the project site. However, when the visit was made the Committee did not invite OYF. They visited the site in a jamboree style and declared the substandard job as satisfactory. We believe the visit was premeditated and teleguarded to favour the CCECC for reasons best known to members of the committee.
It beats our imagination that the deputy leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly and member representing Khana (constituency 1) who is a member of the Committee, Hon. Bariene Deeyah, alongside with his counterpart representing Khana (constituency ll), Hon. Prince Ngbor who were part of the jamboree visit also kowtow to that fact that the Job is being done to standard. We are shocked! Well, this is the kind of politics we see anyways!
For a government that has decided to leave a lasting legacy on the sand of history in the state, we believe it will be disservice to the Government if contractors are left to implement projects without any iota of sustainability in view as this will cost the government more in repairs and rehabilitation than it should on proper construction.
We therefore enjoin Ogoni youths to remain calm and law abiding as we explore other channels to ensuring that CCECC delivers a standard road to our people.
Comrade Legborsi Yamaabana