Itsekiri leaders blast Jonathan for postponing EPZ groundbreaking again

Chairman of Ogidigben Interface Committee on the Export Processing Zone (EPZ), Delta State, Austin Oboroegbeyi and other Itsekiri leaders, have lampooned President Goodluck Jonathan for failing again to perform the groundbreaking of the EPZ project slated for Monday.

Oboroegbeyi said: “Mr President’s failure, again, to keep his promise to perform the groundbreaking of the Ogidigben EPZ project rescheduled for today (Monday) is, to say the least, disappointing and embarrassing.”

Secretary of Itsekiri Leaders of Thought (ILOT), Edward Ekpoko, who reacted to same, said it was surprising that no official reason had been given for the failure of the groundbreaking to take place.

But an Ijaw youth leader, Paul Bebenimibo, said: “The March 16 date for the Gas City and the Deep Sea Port groundbreaking was tentative.

“Therefore, the Itsekiri should not trouble themselves over the issue. Mr President is committed to the project and, of course, the groundbreaking. Some of us are tired of the Itsekiri’s frequent statements that they will not vote Mr President if the groundbreaking ceremony is not performed before the election. They should know that the issue is not just performing the groundbreaking, but having a peaceful atmosphere for the project to continue.

“Mr President did not approve the March 16 date. It was a tentative date that did not work out. They should give him time to come up with a suitable date before the election,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Itsekiri nation has said that the attack on Ogidigben, host of the $16 billion Export Processing Zone, EPZ, by Ijaw youths, last weekend, was part of the larger agenda of the Ijaw ethnic group to annihilate the Itsekiri, which President Jonathan is allegedly pursuing.

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