My People are dying in Riverine areas over Govt Neglect – Olugbo
*** As New Development Trust inaugurated
The Olugbo of Ugbo Kingdom, Oba Frederick Akinruntan has lamented that the people of riverine area of Ondo state are now suffering because of lack of government presence and such had negatively affected the people.
He said the area needed the presence of government to save the riverine areas from being completely submerged under the ocean.
Oba Akinruntan stated this in his palace when a new executive members to pilot the affairs of Moluetehin/Jinrinwo Development Trust was inaugurated.
The committee is saddled with the responsibility of attracting development to the area and ensure that oil producing oil companies, most especially Chevron lives up to expectations.
The colourful Inauguration ceremony took place at the palace of the Olugbo of Ugbo Kingdom in Ilaje local government area of Ondo State and witnessed by eminent sons and daughters from that oil producing communities.
Members of the new inaugurated Committee are Kelly Nomiye, Chairman, Felix Emayero as Vice Chairman, Mr Samson Ewajane as Secretary,Princess Esther Orisamoluwa as Treasurer, Inspiration Ajimosun as Palace Representative and Omojuwa Omomomowo as Legal Adviser.
In his Inaugural speech, Nomiye, said the level of neglect in recent times has reached a painful threshold.
He said that multiple ecological effect of oil exploration and exploitation in Ilaje communities have made life extremely difficult for the people.
According to him, oil exploration which should bring succour to the people has become a source of pains and hardship to the people.
” We are experiencing the worst of destruction of aquatic lives and it’s effects on fish farming, destruction of farm lands and we are experiencing the worst of death and maternal Mortality as a result of lack of health care.
“We are experiencing the worst of ignorance and barbaric behaviour as a result of lack of schools. We are experiencing the worst of water born diseases a result of lack portable drinking water.
“We are experiencing the worst of poverty as a result of unemployment. For so long, we have experienced marginalization and rejection,” he lamented.
The Olugbo of Ugbo Kingdom, Oba Frederick Akinruntan said if it were olden days, traditional rulers would have had roles to play to put things in place because oil producing companies were not helping the environment.
“We have been calling on the government, but no response, from federal and state, and there is nothing traditional rulers can do.
It is high time government gave traditional rulers role, because if you talk too much, the will say they want to remove the oba,” he said.
Akinruntan, who was represented by High Chief Felix Emayero, said they have written several letters to the government, especially to help deal with the ocean surge that was threatening the existence of communities in Ilaje.
Also, Chief Obasuaye Emiasoro, said the communities in Ilaje were facing many problems and urged the government to Intervene, especially by addressing ocean surge and environmental challenges in terms of environment challenges.
Emiasoro, who is also the assistant financial secretary of the newly inaugurated association, said the oil companies were not doing enough to address the sufferings of the people.