BY VINCENT UJUMADU
AWKA—THE traditional ruler of Oko community in Orumba North local government area of Anambra State, Igwe Laz Ekwueme, weekend sent a Save-Our-Soul, SOS, to the Federal Government, pleading that something urgent be done about the gully erosion devastating his community.
He said if nothing was done immediately, most people in his domain would become refugees.
Ekwueme spoke when the member representing Orumba North and South in the House of Representatives, Chief Ben Nwankwo, visited him at Oko, after inspecting erosion sites in the area. He said it was disheartening to see his people move out of their houses on a daily basis as the threat of erosion continued.
Among the 30 houses on the verge of being swallowed by the gully include the palace of Igwe Ekwueme .
Following the development, officials of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, are billed to visit the area today to ascertain the level of displacement of the people from their homes, with a view to assisting them with relief materials.
The monarch told the lawmaker yesterday: “You have gone round the erosion sites and seen what we are going through. We do not know what will happen next and we don’t know what to do. “There is so much panic in this community and our fear has been heightened following the submerging of the concrete gutters built to check the menace by the Shehu Shagari administration during the second republic.
“More houses in the area were threatened weekend following down pour, necessitating the immediate relocation of the occupants.
“Most of those displaced are now taking refuge in primary schools and in friends houses in other communities and I must commend our people for being their brothers’ keeper by accommodating those whose house had been swept away.”