There are indications that the trouble that led to legal action which kept the building of the secondary school allocated to Degema Local Government Area by the Government of Rivers State, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi to a stand-still will soon be over.
This was made clear in a panel sitting in Port Harcourt led by the Former Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, (RSHA) Rt. Hon. Tonye Harry.
We gathered that one of the warring factions of the community led by Chief Gina Wilberforce took the issue to court and securing an injunction because they were not satisfied with the site of the project which put the work on a stand-still and making the Governor to give them ultimatum to go and settle their differences by first withdrawing the case from court for work to start before Monday, March 5, 2010. Otherwise he would withdraw the school and give it to those who may need it.
To make sure the school is not taken away from Degema, the Tonye Harry led panel called stakeholders and brought down the warring factions to a sitting at a hall in the RSHA, for them to state their grievances.
The aggrieved party was not satisfied with the present site of the project, having it that the Royal father, HRH King Reuben Z. Amos refused to listen to peoples opinion, but took the decision alone which they refused to accept.
Wilberforce further said that the land in which the Royal father gave to the Governor is Degema Reserve Area (DRA) for future generations, but the Royal father said they all agreed on the site in a community gathering.
He further said that the site is a land which the community had already given to Government Long ago for a Law faculty of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, only that they have not developed it, but the Wilberforce group insisted it must be the premises of the former Teachers Training College.
At this junction, Rt. Hon. Tonye Harry explained to the House that the school cou;ld not be sited on any previous project as the Governor wants it to stand on a new ground to show that he was not renovating any previous project.
At the end of the explanation different speakers traced the misunderstanding to lack of enlightenment. The litigants pleaded to reach home for final decision which was granted and the meeting was adjoined.
It was a thing of great bitterness for people from other communities of the LGA as they asked the Degema people to settle their internal differences within themselves and allow this school to go on as they will not like the project to be taken away. ###
By Mene Gbarabe