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Thursday, June 8, 2023

Ondo council appeals for resettlement of riverine community following sea incursions

Following the ravaging ocean incursion in Ayetoro Community, the Chairman, Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State, Mr Goke Ojatuwase, has appealed for the resettlement of residents.

Ilaje Ocean Surge
Ilaje sea surge

Ayetoro community on Monday, April 17, 2023, witnessed another ocean incursion which destroyed several houses, schools, churches, markets and businesses, while many residents have fled the area.

In an interview on Wednesday, April 19 in Igbokoda, Ojatuwase made a passionate appeal for the resettlement of the inhabitants due to the recurring incidents of ocean incursion.

“The local government is not folding its arms against the sea incursion ravaging the community as the state government has been partnering the Federal Government to find solution to the impending danger in the area,” he said.

The council chairman said that the multi-million-naira project design embarked by the Federal Government to tame the ocean incursion has been completed, but what remained was movement of equipment to the high sea.

“The government has not been folding its hands over the sea incursion in Ayetoro because the area mapping and project design embarked by the Federal Government have been completed.

“But the inability to access roads and the sea to bring the heavy equipment to begin the project have been the problem.

“Ilaje has no motorable roads for heavy duty trucks and the sea needs dredging to bring in the heavy equipment through the high sea because the sea was dredged last in 1975 or 1976, I think.

“I am appealing to the Federal Government and other stakeholders as a matter of urgency to do the needful for the sea surge not to wipe out the entire Ayetoro community.

“As much as I sympathised with the residents of Ayetoro community over loss of properties and businesses, I appeal to them to accept resettlement from the area, pending when the governments will do the needful,” Ojatuwase said.

Also, Oba Micah Olaseni-Ajijo, the Ogeleyinbo of Ayetoro community, in a statement on behalf of residents, said that the community has made frantic calls to the relevant governments over the sea incursion.

The leader of the community added that government was yet to tackle the challenge being faced by residents of the community over the ocean surge which was threatening their lives and property.

Olaseni-Ajijo said that the traditional institution would continue to lend its voice to those of others, and through all available means of communication, bring their plight to the knowledge of government.

He appealed to State and Federal governments, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and Ondo State Oil Producing Development Commission (OSOPADEC) to come to their rescue.

“The ocean surge is the reality of rising temperatures and sea levels due to carbon emissions.

“International agreement on carbon cap are not implemented and oil companies off the coast of Aiyetoro still flare their gas, not minding the environmental challenges.

“The sea eats our lands and coastal towns as there is no social and environmental justices in the policies of the political class as we only cry to God to instill His peace.

“More than half of the community has been encroached by the ravaging sea surge, we are calling on governments and relevant agencies to please come to our rescue, Ayetoro must not go into extinction,” he pleaded.

By Aderemi Bamgbose

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