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Delta community vows to boycott elections over erosion, government neglect


A part of Delta state

Ubulu-Uku town in Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta State is an agrarian community with a population of over one million people.

Many of the residents are farmers who depend mainly on agricultural produce for their livelihood.

However, their mainstay of survival is under threat, as a major route residents ply to transport their farm produce to markets – Onicha-Uku-Onicha-Ugbo road – has totally collapsed due to gully erosion.

Farm produce and other raw materials are wasting away. Old people have been confined to their homes, as they lack the strength to pass through the road of torture and the community is on the verge of being cut off from the outside world.

Reason the residents have sent a Save Our Soul to the Federal Government and the state government to declare a state of emergency on the road.

They have also warned that the community would not be able to participate in the forthcoming general elections, as there would be no access road for politicians to campaign or for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials to access the town on the day of election for the electorate to cast their votes.

During a visit to Ubulu-Uku recently, 95-year-old Grace Oji, who has seen it all from the “good old days” shortly after Independence to today’s fast-paced Internet age, lamented the lack of basic infrastructure in the area.

Oji said: “I got married to Paul Okolie Oji, who was the Councillor for Works in the First Republic.

I remember that my husband travelled to Lagos to apply for a tractor that was freely given to him by the Lagos State government, which he used to open the link road from Ubulu-Uku to Onicha-Ugbo.

“After he left government, the road was no longer maintained, until in the late 1970s, when Chief Augustine Onwordi, a philanthropist, rehabilitated the link road.

After a while, the man could no longer maintain the road and it kept deteriorating till now that it has gone beyond our imagination.

“Our youths have done their best to salvage the road, but it is beyond individual efforts.

I have been confined to my husband’s house because of the road. I can’t go out anymore as the road is impassable.”

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