The people of Ilaje Local Government Area living along the Atlantic Coastal peninsula of Ondo State have appealed to governments to urgently come to their aid before the ravaging sea sweeps them out of existence.
The “Save Our Souls” appeal was made during a visit by the committee put in place by Ilaje Development Summit Group, IDSG, towards assessing the level of damage sea incursions have done to the communities.
The people who have almost lost hope due to the devastating effects of the perennial sea incursions on their communities such as Abereke , Aiyetoro and Awoye a thriving fishing port.
They called on Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Ecological Fund Office, Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, OSOPADEC, international donor agencies and organizations like UNEC to come to their aid.
While lamenting their harrowing experience, seemingly helplessness of their situation, the inhabitants of Abereke called for urgent help from stakeholders to come to their aid.
According to them, Abereke, a once thriving fishing port where people come from different states and country as far of Akwa Ibom in Nigeria and Togo to eke a living was more than a kilometer away from the sea coast and had moved their initial traditional home more than three times.
The situation at Aiyetoro that was famous for her thriving communal living is worse. Aiyetoro which literally means the world at peace is now at war with the sea as it has dealt a devastating blow on its social infrastructure leaving the people gasping for breath.
According to the traditional ruler of the community, Oba Micah Olaseni Ajijo, the Ogeloyinbo of Aiyetoro, the sea has eaten over 3/4 of the Community leaving just a parcel of lineal settlement. Oba Ajijo who described the situation as devastating called for concerted efforts of all stakeholders to address the ugly situation.
Although Oba Ajijo, frowns at the insensitivity of the International Oil companies operating in the Niger Delta Region to the plights of host communities called on Federal and the State governments to probe the failed Aiyetoro Sea Shore Embarkment/ Protection put at over N7 billion.
According to him, the project awarded as far back as 2004 and rewarded in 2008 could have saved the community from the ugly situation if the project had been executed, also appealing for the reactivation of the project with the help of international organizations.
The community spokesman, Prince Victor Akinluwa also called on all stakeholders to urgently come to the aid of Aiyetoro community to safe it from imminent extinction.
Earlier, the Baale of Owoye, a thriving fishing port close Escavor on Forcados River in Delta State, Chief Happiness Abiye said his people have been subjected to untold hardship as a result of incessant ocean surge and called for urgent attention to their plights.
In an interview after the tour, the Chairman of the Committee, Primate Afolabi Aboyewa, said the essence of the visit was to have first hand knowledge of the level of the impact of the surge on the communities along the coast and the immediate remedial needs of the inhabitants and document same for the attention of IDSG. (Hope Newspaper)