The Federation Government sought the cooperation of host communities on the Flood and Erosion Control project in Ado-Ekiti and Ekiti South-West in Ekiti state. The appeal was made during the projects’ sensitization and awareness creation ceremony at Ado-Ekiti.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Permanent Secretary, Ecological Project Office (EPO), Dr. Habiba Lawal, represented by the Deputy Director Pollution Control department Mrs. Kolade Esther, said that the ceremony was aimed at building bridges of understanding between Ecological Project Office (EPO), Contractors and Consultant and the benefiting communities. She noted that the bridge building was very essential to bring the Contractors and Consultants to meet with the members of the host communities with a view to resolving any issue that might arise then or in the future to hinder the progress of the project.
Dr. Lawal emphasized the need for peaceful and conducive atmosphere devoid of rancor and acrimony to enable Contractors deliver good and quality project on time for the benefit of the communities. She admonished the host communities to desist from making demands from Contractors or dictating the way the project should be executed, which would throw up disputes that might linger for long, thereby slowing down the pace of the work. She advised that genuine and legitimate demands on Contractors should be channeled through community heads and traditional rulers who if need be, would in turn forward such complaints to EPO rather than resorting to violence that would hinder the progress of the work.
Dr. lawal enjoined the host communities to see that peace and tranquility were maintained for timely completion of the projects. She also advised them to protect and sustain the projects so that the resources which the Federal Government had committed for the project would be gainfully utilized.
In his remarks, the Director Press and Public Relation Dr. Joel Oruche, stated that the project has a completion period of six months to one year and urged the youth and other community members to support the contractor to ensure speedy completion of the project. He advised them to report any observed inconsistencies to the traditional ruler rather than making trouble with the contractor.
While appreciating the Federal Government for the good gesture to the people of Ekiti, the commissioner for Environment, Hon Iyabode Fakunle Okhiemen, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Mr. Paul Ayodele Adeyanju commended the Federal Government for the project. He noted that Ado-Ekiti and Ekiti South-West Local Governments had a number of ecological challenges that required urgent attention of EPO intervention team.
Mr. Okhiemen reiterated that Ekiti is a peace loving people. He warned the Contractors not to take advantage of their peaceful nature, asking the Contractors to endeavor to deliver quality work for the communities. He assured the Federal Government and EPO of total cooperation of the host communities on project execution.
On behalf of the host communities, HRH Oba of Ado. Ekiti, Oba Dr. Rufus Adejuyigbe represented by Chief Sola Olanrewaju expressed his delight over the sensitization ceremony of the project and commended the EPO for the intervention program. He appreciated the very act of sensitization and awareness creation and compared the idea to the past regimes when there was nothing like that before a project would be executed in a place. He admonished the EPO and Contractors to always liaise with the traditional rulers and community leaders of the host communities to carry them along to avoid violence and harassment from the people.
HRH. Rufus noted that there were other erosion- prone areas in Ado-Ekiti which required the urgent attention of EPO. He therefore appealed to the Federal government for more ecological interventions.
The event was attended by Director Pollution Control Ekiti State Environment Protection Agency, Mr. Kolade Okeya, General Manager SEPA, Mr. Adegbola seyi, State project coordinator NEWMAP, Dr. Akin Yemi Akingyha, Chairman Ado-Ekiti South West LGA, Chief Bosun, Traditional Leaders, members of the community.
Nnorom Ugomma. J
For Director Press & PR Unit
Ecological Project Office