. Over 300 may be homeless
PHIL OKOSE, Onitsha
Unless the Anambra State Government and other relevant bodies associated with gully erosion/flood disaster management come to the rescue of Ughueze Ukpor community now, Nnewi South Local Government Area, no fewer than 60 houses may cave in prior to the end of the rainy season.
Consequently, residents of the community have reportedly spent money and made desperate efforts to tackle the devastating gulley erosion that is currently wearing away the entire community.
Even the people of the community have accused the Anambra State Speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon. Rita Maduagwu, of ignoring them “with careless abandon” at this time of need when she is also a native of Ukpor but from a different village.
Reacting to the erosion menace which is collapsing the house of Late Chief Pius Okoli, the former President General of Ebe community in Ukpor, the incumbent President -General of Ebe Ukpor, Mr. Elochukwu Emokai, regretted that the Speaker has not responded positively by way of assisting to tackle the erosion despite the two occasions he pleaded to her in her house to come to their rescue.
“I have personally gone to her house on this issue and she promised to do something and it has taken months now without hearing from her.“The situation is even worse now that we are in the rainy season. Over 60 houses may give way any moment from now, which means the occupants of those residential homes numbering about 300, will be rendered homeless”
“Weeds have over grown the gulley now and the fence of the former President -General, late Chief Okoli, has collapsed, thereby giving way for the erosion to touch the main building.
“Some time ago, thieves came to steal our machine kept in the community hall but luckily, our vigilante group saw the thieves and as they were being pursued they ran into the gulley erosion. That was their save haven and it also poses danger to us. The depth of the gully will swallow four storey building and dangerous reptiles now live there”, Emokai lamented.
He also said: “The erosion menace has gone beyond what the community can tackle and we call on our sister again, Speaker f the State House of Assembly, Hon Rita Maduagwu, to use her position and prevail on Governor Willie Obiano, National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, and Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, to come to Mesopotamia and help us before we die. Currently, no life has been lost but a stitch in time saves nine”.
Also speaking, Mr. Nonso Okoli, son to the late former President- General of Ebe community said, “The gully is now eating our house, the fence is giving way, we will become homeless any moment from now.
“Where do we run to? This is a natural disaster that can only be tackled by erosion/flood management agencies and governments and that is why we urge the able Governor Willie Obiano to come to our rescue as we have been abandoned already by our own sister, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly.
“When my father was the Ebe President- General, it was while fighting for the good of the community that he was killed. On that fateful day he was returning from Lagos to attend to an urgent community meeting when gun men killed him along Umunede town. May God bless his soul”, he recalled.
Also reacting, a youth leader in the area who pleaded anonymity reminded the Speaker that they all live together and that one day she will vacate the office and return home to join them in suffering the same fate (the menace of the erosion), adding: “Her name will be written in gold if she tackles the devastating erosion menace”.
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