Protesting youths from Oduna ward in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State have threatened to shut down oil facilities in the state if their demand that the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) should immediately complete the rural electrification project leading to their communities is not met.
The youths, who protested round the Benin metropolis, said the contract was awarded in 2004.
Displaying placards of various inscriptions, Oduna youths, which comprise Gelegele, Ikpoko, Eghudu, Evborokho, Ekewan, Ugbine wards, described their situation as pathetic pointing out they are also an oil bearing community in the state.
Led in protest by the Speaker, Omaghomi Olu-Derimon, the group said: “Oduna ward is historically linked to the famous 1897 Benin invasion where you will find the tomb of Captain James Philip and the wreckage of his boat while they entered the Benin Kingdom, without controversy, Oduna ward played host to the first indigenous oil company in Nigeria, Dubril Oil Company Limited with several oil wells.”
He said it is embarrassing to say that the people of Oduna ward still live in perpetual darkness in the 21st century.
Olu-Derimon said it is based on this premise that the Communities are giving the NDDC a 14-day ultimatum to complete the Ekenwan Gelegele Electrification project.
“We call on the NDDC to expedite action on all the ongoing projects and commission the few completed ones,” he said.