Scores of youths from the oil producing communities in Imo State on Monday stormed the state liaison office of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs in Owerri, demanding that the office be opened to the people of the state.
The youths had stormed the office and met the gates of the office under locks and keys
Acting under the aegis of Niger Delta Youth Movement, the aggrieved youths alleged that the office had remained close for over two years with the staff only coming to the work any time there were visits by officers from Abuja.
They accused the state coordinator of the ministry of renting rooms in the office out because of lack of workers.
Speaking to journalists at the office at Number 27 Okigwe Layout, Owerri, leader of the youths, Prince Iyasara Ifeanyi alleged that the youths of the oil producing communities had not been able to access whoever is the state coordinator or any other workers in the past two years
This, he said, had fuelled suspicion that the workers were no longer coming to the office.
“We’ve been coming here since 2018 and noticed that nobody comes to work here to receive our letters. The people we see here are students who live inside here.
“Our investigation shows that all the staff of the ministry of Niger Delta Affairs live in Abuja. But at the end of every month, they get paid for doing nothing. All our letters have never been received by anyone. It is only two security personnel that we usually see here each time we came here.
“But, our coming here is to let the honourable minister of Niger Delta Affairs and the permanent secretary to open this office for the people of Imo State particularly the people of the oil producing communities. We’ve been missing out on most of the programmes of the ministry because those who are supposed to be here attending to us are rather in Abuja”, Iyasara said.
According to him, such programmes as the various empowerments, employments, jobs such as water hyacinth and other infrastructural provisions from the ministry eluded the communities because of the absence of workers in the office.
He called on the minister of Niger Delta Affairs to look into the matter and reopen the Imo State office of the ministry to allow the people of Imo State enjoy the benefits of the ministry.