Dr Eze Osita, the traditional ruler of Oko kingdom, Oshimili South Local Government Area, Delta, says lack of access road to the riverine community poses the greatest challenge to his domain.
Osita stated this in an interview with the News agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Oko-Alana, near Asaba, on Sunday.
The monarch appealed to the Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa-led administration to construct the 30 kilometre access road to the revirine communities in the kingdom to alleviate the suffering of the people.
He said that the problem of access road to the communities dated back to 1978 when Prof. Ambrose Ali was the governor of the old Bendel.
He recalled that the then state government awarded a contract for the construction of the Asaba-Oko Alana-Oko Ogbele-Utchi-Okpai Junction-Abalagada road to a construction company which allegedly abandoned it.
He alleged that another contract for the construction of the road was awarded in 2008 but nothing was done.
The royal father said that his subjects were known to be peace-loving but he would not want the people of Oko to be seen as those who could not agitate for their right.
He said that many pregnant women with emergency cases in the community at night had lost their babies on many occasions due to bad roads.
“The incidents occurred because the women could not be rushed to hospitals in Asaba for attention because of the situation.
“Such loss of lives could have been averted if there was an access road from Asaba, the state capital, to Oko.
“Even farmers in the area are compelled to wait until the dry season every year before evacuating their produce to Asaba and Onitsha,’’ he said.
Osita said that this was because the earth road leading to the community was always flooded during rainy season.