*Corruption by Delta State Gvt bane of illegal dredging in Ughelli says Chief Olori
By Nosa Akenzua
An elder statesman and chieftain of the All Progressive Party (APC) in Delta State, Chief Morison Olori has blamed the Delta State government for the impending doom awaiting residents of Ughelli and its environs.
The business mogul and politician also tongue-lashed, the Delta State government, Ughelli Council chairman, Hon. Godwin Adode, and the Office of the Federal Ministry of Environment South, for their corrupt practices.
While analysing the danger the illegal sand dredging and mining in the heart of Ughelli town and neighboring communities, he said, the only bridge (Amekpa/Affirsere bridge) connecting the East-West part of the country is on the verge of collapsing if urgent attention is taken.
Olori noted that all efforts to draw the attention of the Delta State government and the federal ministry of environment in charge of the zone fall on deaf ears.
“I drew the attention of Ughelli north council boss, Hon. Godwin Adode, and the state government to the impending danger posed by illegal sand dredging in the core heart of Ughelli town and the need to stop the activities but because they are collaborators they pay a deaf ear to my advice.
“The only bridge connecting Ughelli to the rest of states in the south-south region of the country is on the verge of collapsing, the foundation of the bridge has been affected as they dredged horizontally to the two bases of the bridge thereby weakening the foundation of the bridge.
“The Engineers in charge of East-West road are corrupt they collaborate with the illegal dredgers despite several calls on them to stop them.
Olori, who spoke in an interview, stressed the need for the federal and state governments to take urgent steps toward checking the activities of illegal dredgers in Delta State for the safety of lives and properties.
According to him, the future of the environment in the area is being threatened.
He called on the federal government to quickly come to the aid of the Ughelli people and Delta State as a whole as he lost confidence in the state government.
He noted that the dredgers were dredging the feet of the bridge and foundation of residential buildings in town without considering the risk it posed to the lives of those living in the area.
He said the state government should without further delay begin to issue licenses to prospective dredgers in the state to check. ate the menace.
According to him, Ughelli people are sitting on a keg of gunpowder, stressing that the activities of the illegal dredgers could cause earthquakes.
Chief Olori called on President Bola Tinubu and Nigeria Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) to prevail on the Delta State government, Ughelli North council boss from allowing illegal dredging activities in Ughelli metropolis and across Delta State as a whole noting it destroys the environment and posing serious threats to the people.