…Says report credited to him are figment of the writer’s imagination
By Oghale Egivri
The Special Adviser to the Delta State Government on Project Monitoring and Evaluation, Hon. Prince Johnson Erijo, has denied reports making the rounds, that he (Erijo) allegedly condemned the quality of the ongoing Ikpide-Irri township road and described the job done so far as “unfortunate and wastage of state government resources”. Eirjo who denied ever granting an interview to any Medium, however, admitted to have been at the project site for routine inspection
Speaking through his Media Assistant, Mr. Fredrick Odu, the former lawmaker described the authors of the news report as mischief-makers who wrote exactly what was on their mind and not what actually transpired at the project site.
“True, my Principal was at Ikpide-Irri to inspect the ongoing construction of the community’s internal roads, following a petition to us by some persons. However, after the inspection, our team left the site without granting an interview or uttering a word. Our brief isn’t to pass judgment. What we do is to collect information from the site and use it to form a report which is submitted to the Ministry. As at this moment (1:42PM Monday 8th June, 2020), our report is yet to be ready. So I wonder where the authors of the said story got their information from”, Odu said.
Reacting to the report, the Community Laison Officer (CLO) of the project, Mr. Favour Udezi said the report was misleading, false and outrightly annoying. He said at no point did the government team condemn the project, but only appealed to the community to cooperate with the contractor and always draw government attention should they notice anything untoward.
While noting that the people of Ikpide are not new to the antics of those who do not wish the project well, the CLO said the Ikpide-Irri internal roads is been constructed with strict compliance to the provision of the contract BOQ.
“I saw the report too and I almost wept at the length people can go to tarnish the image of this project for reasons best known to them. I am sadder because the people who are behind this falsehood are from this community. We know them and we pray to God alone to judge them.
“When Erijo and his people came, we welcomed them and conducted them around the project. At no point did they complain nor make the statements been credited to them in the media. Those who wrote the petition are also those who wrote the news report. They wrote what they were hoping to hear and if this is what it means to be a journalist, then they will never get my respect.
“The government people only charged us to take ownership of the project and said we should always call on them should we notice anything untoward. They then admonished us to provide a peaceful environment for the contractor to operate. This is exactly what happened”, he said.
“As an engineer, a community leader and someone very knowledgeable about what is happening here, I dare say the report been circulated is completely false and that Deltans should disregard it. This is the handiwork of mischief makers’, he concluded.
Recall that a pan-Isoko pressure group, Isoko Monitoring Group (IMG) had earlier written to the Governor through the office of the Special Adviser, Project Monitoring and Evaluation, condemning the quality of the job done while also calling on the Governor to either call the contracting firm to order or revoke the contract. It is also worthy of note that the contracting firm and the authors of the petition has since the inception of the project been at loggerhead for reasons unknown to our medium.