Delta Governor, Sen. (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, on Friday, said ongoing Kwale-Beneku Bridge project across Ase River linking Ndokwa West and Ndokwa East would be ready for use in February, 2022.
The governor disclosed this while speaking to newsmen shortly after inspecting the project, and said that the bridge was of great significance to the government and its people, especially as the area contributed immensely to oil and gas production in Nigeria.
He said that for the critical position of the area to the oil industry, it was the expectation of the state government that oil companies operating in the area should have constructed the bridge over the years.
He said that the government, however, took the gauntlet to construct the bridge since the oil companies failed to do the needful.
According to him, the Kwale-Beneku Bridge is very significant because it’s going to open up the whole of the other side of the bridge. Unfortunately, for many years the oil companies have been using this pontoon here and I don’t think it ought to be so.
Okowa said: “I actually felt that the oil companies, particularly AGIP, should have before now constructed a bridge across this place but since they couldn’t do it, we cannot ignore our people across this place.
“A lot of oil facilities are on this other side and there is a need to open up access to the place from Ndokwa West to Ndokwa East Local Government Area because it’s quite important.
“I remember coming on campaign using the pontoon to cross; on one of the occasions when we were trying to cross, some of our people fell into the river and we cannot continue to allow such to happen because the people across matter a lot to us.
“They are part of the state and more so, they are part of the oil and gas producing communities in Nigeria.”
He said that the project was on course, and that the contractor had assured that it would be ready in eight months from now, pushing it to February, 2022.
“I believe that a lot of work has been done but we will follow through with them to ensure that they deliver the work on target.
“I am glad that the water level at the peak of the rains has been taken care of with the height of the bridge during the construction,” Okowa stated.
The governor also attended a reception at Utagba-Uno in honour of Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Mr Daniel Ossai, and restated his commitment to the pact with Ndokwa Neku Union led by Brig-Gen. Mike Ndubuisi (retd), to give more attention to the area.
He said that he was praying for an Ndokwa man to occupy a prime position in the next political dispensation in the state and commended the people for making a bold statement with the reception for their son.
“Let me assure you that all I agreed with the leadership of Ndokwa-Neku Union when they visited me recently I will execute all the agreements.
“Above all that, it is my prayer and I am praying everyday that an Ndokwa person will occupy a prime position in the next dispensation.’’
At the event, hundreds of members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), led by former Deputy State Chairman of the party, Chief Terry Otuya, defected to the PDP.
Receiving the defectors, Chairman of PDP in the state, Chief Kingsley Esiso, described APC as “noise makers” and vowed to chase them out of Delta.
“They are free to make their noise but they are aware that when the chips are down they cannot stand the PDP machinery in Delta.
“I doubt their capabilities; so, don’t believe their promises; they are all lies. How can anybody truly called a Deltan be deceived by that party called APC?
“Today, Nigeria is now the poverty headquarters of the world because of APC’s poor leadership in the nation.
“They can do whatever they like anywhere particularly, Abuja, but let them know that Delta is a no-go-area for them,’’ he said.
Esiso challenged Senator Peter Nwaoboshi to an election contest in 2023, saying “tell that man, Peter Nwaoboshi whom we all worked hard to send to the Senate twice, that if his name is really Nwaoboshi, let him come and contest in 2023.
“We will defeat him in the nine local governments of Delta North.”
Chairman of the occasion, Admiral Mike Onah (retd), in his remarks, said that Ndokwa nation was grateful to the PDP for appointing their son as State Secretary.
He urged him to work hard to leave a legacy that Ndokwa nation and Delta State would be proud of.
On her part, a former Presidential Adviser, Dr Esther Uduehi, said Ndokwaland was united for the PDP and urged the people to remain resolute for the party in the area.
Speaking on behalf of the APC defectors, Chief Otuya, said they that all of them agreed to dump the APC because the party lacked leadership and direction.
“We the erstwhile members of the APC hereby dump our brooms and we have all agreed to embrace the PDP.
“We built the PDP in 1999 and we have only been on sabbatical. We used to be PDP’s albatross but now that we are back at home, we will work harder to ensure victory for the PDP, going forward,’’ he said.
In a vote of thanks, Ossai expressed gratitude to Governor Okowa and the party for finding him worthy to serve, and assured that he would do his best to uplift the party in the state.