BY CHINENYEH OZOR
Residents of Eha Ndiagu, an oil bearing community in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State are groaning over lack of access road to the community since the end of the Nigeria- Biafran civil war about 45 years ago. For anybody in the community to get to the Nsukka Local Government headquarters, such a person must go through Ikem, in Isi Uzo Local Government via Obollo Afor in Udenu Local Government, before reaching Nsukka through Ovoko in Igboeze South Local Government Area.
Investigations by South East Voice showed that apart from the high cost of such journey, a lot of man-hours are lost as the journey which ordinarily would not take more than an hour usuallytake a whole day. After many decades of agony, the people had since resigned their fate to God and adapted to primitive living conditions. “We seem to have been abandoned by all the tiers of government.
Our people are even considering making request to be merged with the people of Benue State, since we have not been assisted by the state government by way of provision of social amenities,’’ a retired teacher and community leaders in the area, Mr. Uwakwe Agbo, told South East Voice. Agbo said that apart from high cost of travelling, hundreds of sick people and pregnant women had also died over minor sicknesses that could have been treated in hospitals at Nsukka or Enugu as there were no vehicles to convey them.
‘’Sometimes, we try to take sick people to Nsukka on commercial motorcycles, but most of them end up dying before help could come to them in hospitals. ‘’Eha-Ndiagu is predominantly a farming community and famous for the production of yam, cassava, tomatoes and cashew nuts, but our farmers have no means of transporting them to the cities where they can make maximum profit.
‘’ Although there are public secondary schools in Eha Ndiagu, they are inhabited by rodents. Reason, officials posted to our schools are unwilling to come to Eha-Ndiagu after their first visit on motorcycles. The result is that the schools are without teachers except those who are indigenes. ‘’Besides, the unfortunate situation is adversely affecting the exploration of oil found in the community since 1956.
The road has been in a state of disrepair since after the war in 1970 and over time, it began to deteriorate until it became completely washed away by soil erosion that has created yawning gullies and tunnels on the road making it impassable by vehicles,’’ Agbo said. The Chairman of Nsukka Local Government Area, Mr. Charles Ugwu, described the Eha-Ndiagu situation as unfortunate when South East Voice approached him for comments on the issue.
Ugwu said there was nothing a local government could do to fight the erosion in area. “The road belongs to the state government and we have drawn their attention to the plight of Eha-Ndiagu people and we are optimistic that something would be done on it soon,’’ he said.