By Ayodele Oni
Ilaje is one of the largest groups that makes up the present Ondo state. It dominates the coastal area of the state with the people predominantly fishermen. Another important and major issue of this coastal community is the fact that it is the goose that lays the golden egg for the state. It is by virtue of discovery of oil in the area that makes the state a member of the oil producing states.
That is why when the people of the area snezee, there is trouble. The state government has ensured that any break down of law and order in the area is promptly nipped in the bud, apparently to protect the hen that lays the golden egg.
Of recent, the Ilaje people of Ondo state are not happy, going by information coming from the area; the people feel neglected by the state government despite the economic contribution to the development of the state.
Leaders and youths from the area are in unison condemning the present administration of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu for trying to sniff life out of the hen that lays the golden egg and concluded that they have no confidence in the administration.
Rising from a stakeholders meeting to review the continued neglect of the area, the people flayed the government for mismanagement of the 40 percent revenue earmarked for Ondo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission, (OSOPADEC) for the sole development of the oil producing communities.
According to their spokesmen, there is infrastructural deficit resulting from alleged diversion of funds meant for the provision of amenities for the coastal communities.
“This government has a morbid hatred for the Ilaje people as evidence in its deliberate neglect of the area in its development efforts,”
Veteran labour leader, Pastor Oyekan Arije, and Apostle Henry Ojagbohunmi, President of egbe Omo Ilaje noted that the administration was more interested in diverting resources from the area to develop other parts of the state as witnessed in key projects it embarked upon in other parts of the state.
They accused the government of deliberate refusal to release the 40 percent of the 13 percent oil derivation fund statutorily meant for OSOPADEC to develop its mandate areas, thereby crippling the activities of the commission.
The spokesmen lamented that despite living on water, communities in the coastal area have no access to drinkable water due to non completion of the mini water works that should have served the area.
They vowed that the people would not watch and allow the government to continue with its neglect of the coastal communities and called for immediate release of funds meant for OSOPADEC to enable the commission live up to its expectation of giving life to coastal communities.