Ilaje youths demonstrating over the "total neglect of their oil-rich communities" by the government

Anti-riot policemen on Monday tear-gassed youths from Ilaje Local Council Area of Ondo State protesting in front of the Governor’s Office in Akure.

The youths, under the aegis of the Ilaje Advancement Forum, were demonstrating over the "total neglect of their oil-rich communities" by the government.

SaharaReporters reported that the youths were tear-gassed to disperse them with the youths having blocked Alagbaka adjourning street. 

The protesters had gathered as early as 9 am on Alagbaka Street of the governor's office carrying placards displaying their grievances and demands.

Ilaje youths demonstrating over the "total neglect of their oil-rich communities" by the government

The youths, who demanded financial autonomy for Ondo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission, also noted the government needs to devote the 40 percent oil derivation coming from the federal government to the coastal areas.

Oyetakin Akinjo, a leader of the IAF, said OSOPADEC under the Governor Rotimi Akeredolu administration had failed to meet the demands of the people.

"This is because the OSOPADEC as you know was created by an act of parliament in 2001 and its function as stated in the act which was amended in 2003 was that the commission shall receive and also manage exclusively 40 percent of the 60 percent oil derivation fund coming from the federation account.

"But now what do we have in return? The only thing we see in this present OSOPADEC is the construction of footbridges and these are not sustainable project as dictated by the commission's mantra itself. You would recall that Ilaje LGA is the only oil-producing local council in the entire South-west of Nigeria, not until recently that Lagos State also became an oil-producing state," he stated.

Reacting, the Chairman of OSOPADEC, Mr. Gbenga Edema, said the current government had been transparent in handling the funds accruable to the commission under the state government.

Edema added that the government, through OSOPADEC, had embarked on massive construction and rehabilitation of wooden walkways in all the villages to the tune of N500 million.

"I also hear that the youth are shouting autonomy, Akeredolu was not the one that created the commission, there is a provision for supervision and control by the governor in the act," he added.

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