Call for action: river disaster at Olori Village and alleged embezzlement of fund for bridge construction
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We the undersigned, indegenes and residents of Oyo Federal Constituency express deep shock and sadness over the tragic death of 10 persons in Olori village, in Oyo East Local government area of the state when their boats capsized in Oba river, where the persons drowned.
This is a deeply regrettable occurrence indeed, which is all the more unfortunate considering the circumstances leading to it: It is reported that a sum of N157million was awarded for the construction of a bridge across the river under the immediate past administration, but there is no evidence that any construction was carried out, and alleged money has not been accounted for. The resulting neglect has led to this desperate state of affairs in which the people of Olori community have been effectively cut off from surrounding villages, and villagers have resorted to the use of locally-made boats for transport across the rivers, with tragic consequences as witnessed recently.
In the light of the foregoing, we call on the state government to, among other things:
1. Expedite action on the construction of Olori bridge, considering this is a serious ongoing human disaster that is completely avoidable, and worthy of government’s priority attention. The bridge does not only serve the people of Olori village, but the entire citizens and residents of Oyo Federal constituency, and by extension the people of Oyo state, who access the route from time to time for agricultural and sundry commercial activities.
2. Provide quick temporary measures to mitigate the transportation difficulty currently experienced by the people of Olori, while work commences on the construction of the bridge. In addition, we call on the state government to direct the Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) to immediately provide a block of six (6) classrooms with adequate furniture and teachers for the over 200 children in the village.
3. Intensify effort to speedily investigate the alleged misappropriation or misapplication of the funds earmarked for the construction of Olori bridge.
4. Publicise the outcome of the investigation to promote transparency and accountability in governance.
5. Support the petition submitted by the Olori communities across the state to demand accountability from public office holders.
Finally we wish to state that we perfectly understand that there are multiple developmental projects on the table of the government across different parts of the state, but we are thoroughly convinced, and we hope the state government agrees, that this is a matter requiring urgent and priority attention.
Long live Oyo state!
Long live the federal republic of Nigeria!
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