Although Southern Ijaw is the major oil producing area in Bayelsa State and the largest local government area in the state, it has remained without access road since the creation of the state on October 1, 1996.
The situation had exposed the residents of the communities trying to access other parts of the state, especially Yenagoa, the state capital, to the risk of travelling by sea.
During the last senatorial by-election in the state, about seven police officers who ferried election materials to Oporoma, the Southern Ijaw headquarters, were drowned in River Nun, aside from other cases of boat mishaps frequently experienced along the route.
However, 24 years later there is a concerted effort by the government to extend a road from Yenagoa across several communities and creeks to Oporoma.
The road project, said to have been conceived since 1960, was in the pipeline until Gov Douye Diri flagged of its construction on assumption of office.
Already, the construction work, being handled by CCECC, has reached Aguobiri community where a bridge is being constructed across the tributary to Angiama community in preparation for a longer bridge across River Nun to Oporoma.
A native of Aguobiri community, Mr Omoku Labo, expressed happiness that in his lifetime a road has crossed his community, noting that before now it was very difficult accessing Yenagoa, and that many indigenes of the community had lost their lives while travelling on the sea.
“It is now that we know that we have a government in Bayelsa State, and they care for us. Many indigenes of Aguobiri and other neighbouring communities have not been to the state capital before because of the difficulties and risks associated with travelling on the sea, but now in no distance time, we will be driving straight to Yenagoa,” Mr Labo said.
Daniel Ayo Awei and Mrs Nanatuemi Bruce who all expressed happiness over the road construction said it had drastically reduced criminality in the area, because security operatives could easily access the communities.
Bayelsa State Commissioner for Works, Surveyor Moses Tabowei, said Gov Diri was very keen to take the work to an appreciable level before his second year anniversary in office next February.