The people of Idoma community have called on the federal government to as a matter of urgency investigate and bring to book Rockbridge Construction Limited, the contractor handling the dualization of Otukpo township road.
IV reports that Chairman of the Committee, Senator Kabiru Gaya yesterday disclosed that the federal government, last year paid the said contractor N1 billion for the project, but he never went to the site.
Citizens of the area took to various platforms to call out on the contractor to explain why the project was abandoned, despite collecting the money from the Federal government.
First to release the salvo was social media activist and coordinator of Idoma Progressives Movement, IPM, Andy Kagawa Obeya.
According to him, “chicken butt about to open. The first time I raised this issue, I was criticized for lack of evidence even when the evidences were staring at us. See where the monies meant for the dualization of Otukpo township roads went into. 1 Billion naira as mobilization fee and contractor did nothing?”
On his part, popular comedian and activist, Enenche Enenche who accompanied his post with some horrible picture of the said road asked the relevant authority to bring whoever fled with the project money to book.
He said, “the truth is out. ‘Otukpo dualization: Contractor collected 1 billion naira and never appeared on site’… Senator Kabiru Gaya (Chairman Senate Committee on works)
“These pictures were taken by me recently; they are pictures of the only and main federal road that passes the heart of Otukpo.
“These are the pictures of the ‘DUALIZATION’ of Otukpo Township road that 1 Billion Naira has been paid for its’ mobilization.
“Who is the contractor? You see when we talk, we know what we are saying. It is like these people are allergic to quality infrastructure in their blood.
“When we see things like this, you want us to keep quiet, no we shall no keep quiet,” he added.
For ace journalist and publisher of DayBreak Newspaper, Yemi Itodo, anybody who thought former senate president was behind the project was wrong because the contract was awarded directly by the ministry of works.
He voiced his conviction thus: “I was aware that Senator Mark lobbied the dualization of Otukpo -Otukpa -Ninth Mile road and the Contractor mobilised by the Ministry of Works and Housing.
“I am also aware that survey were carried out by the Contractor and from what I gathered from the people living close to the roadside, they were called upon for documentation and it appears the govt was not ready to pay any compensation.
“The issue here is that, why should the Contractor not go back to the Ministry and press it on them to pay compensation to the people whose houses and properties would be affected, so he could start work in earnest?
“Why keeping quiet over our 1 billion tubers of yam? If the government is not ready to pay compensation, he should refund the money and wait until that is done.
“On the other hand, we should rather dig deep and find out who the Contractor really is, rather than playing politics with such a sensitive issue.
“Senator Mark has really done more than enough for us as a people and hurling insults on his person at every slighted misinformation is totally lugubrious.
“Let’s learn to be good citizens. Let’s ask questions and get genuine answers. We did it before under the leadership of Akioyamen Josephine, when we got reports that some of the 18 Rural and Access Mobility Projects (RAMP) roads which were lobbied into the 2012 budget by Senator Mark were being abandoned.
“We did not sit down to blame anybody, as responsive and concerned citizens, we invoked relevant sections of the Freedom of Information Act and through our Lawyer, we approached the Ministry of Agriculture, under which supervision the RAMP were contracted. We demanded to know the names of the Contractors and when the then Minister would not oblige, the Idoma People of Nigeria took them to court and we won the case.
“I think that’s more decent and appropriate”.
In a quick reaction, Akioyamen faulted Itodo’s submission, saying that a contractor had no right to abandon a project because of compensation, which was probably included in the contract budget.
She said, “I do not agree entirely with this post of yours. Compensation is always a component part of the cost of a contract. You can’t provide any excuse for the contractor to have abandoned a road they submitted tendered for.”
Adding his voice, movie producer, Agada ‘Manex’ Johnson wondered why would some people blamed David Mark, who singlehandedly fought for the project.
He wrote, “its very clear here that some people are out to spoil senator David Mark’s image.
“When we were making our findings, some of our youths were sleeping… This issue is very clear…David mark fought so much to get our road done, its not really his fault….. We should try and do more findings, please.
For Advert: Call 08171607004, 09058228464 Follow us on Twitter @idomavoice, @idomanews Send us releases at firstname.lastname@example.org