Following repeated sea incursion at Ayetoro coastal community in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State, residents of the community staged a protest on Monday in Akure.

The protesters accused the state government of neglect.

Armed with placards of various inscriptions, the protesters said over 2000 people had been displaced and over 200 houses destroyed in the community.

“For the past two years, we observed that NDDC has been up and doing in every other part of Ondo State but the mandated community, the oil-bearing community upon which it was established at the first instance is suffering untold hardship,” the Moderator of Ilaje Advancement Forum, Daodu Juwon, said.

“The commission has not been able to conduct any project but we observed that it has been up and doing as far as Akoko-North to implement projects in areas where they have never any economic impact or ecological disaster arising from oil exploration activities and we find this as the highest act of injustice on the people of Ilaje

“We find out that the continuous peace and harmonious existence of Ilaje people have been taking for granted, we observed that the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on NNDC and Niger Delta Affairs has not done anything to assuage the sufferings of Ayetoro people that has been hard hit by perennial ocean attack.

“We call upon our representative, Hon. Kolade Akinjo, to stop playing dumb in this instance. We expect that he should be up and doing beyond purchasing the JAMB form which is the job of a counselor. He should rise up to his responsibilities and hold contractors into account” Mr Juwon was quoted by Nigerian Tribune.

The traditional ruler of the town, Olorunnimbe Ojagbohun, described the situation as devastating.

“Half of the residential places has been swept away. Places that used to be buildings are now places where fishermen fish. We have lost count of houses.

“It is devastation, many people have been rendered homeless and many have become refugees in their own community. We have nowhere to go, 98 percent of my people are fishermen, I want to appeal to the Federal Government, state government and well-meaning Nigerians to come to our aid,” the monarch lamented.

The state Commissioner for Information, Donald Ojogo, did not answer PREMIUM TIMES calls and text messages seeking his comments on the matter.

This newspaper in November 2020, reported how over 2,000 people were displaced and 200 houses were destroyed in ocean surge in the community.

Before then, an investigation published in August 2020 exposed how the rise in sea level has led to repeated floods in the community, claiming many homes, a cemetery and the iconic worship centre of the town.

Our report revealed that a N6.4 billion shore protection project aimed at rescuing the community from ocean surge was awarded by the NDDC 16 years ago but nothing had been done.

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