By Emeka Aginam
Oko community in Anambra State, the country home of former Vice President Alex Ekwueme has petitioned the Commissioner and Ministry of Works, Anambra State over what it described as indiscriminate excavation of sand by a section of people in the town, as well as selling it for economic benefits.
The excavation of sand, according to the community, is contributing to the erosion menace already causing havoc in the community through the years.
The erosion site is located at the back of Central Primary School, Opposite Oko Community Hospital, Ezioko village,Oko, Anambra State.
Before now, the erosion has affected many prominent people in the community where you have the Federal Polytechnic.
The chairman of Ezioko vllage, Lagos chapter, Mr Chukwuneke Okafor in a letter to the Commissioner of Works, copied to the Inspector General of Police, Commissioner of Police, Anambra State and the Divisional Police Station, Oko noted that the excavation has far reaching implication following erosion menace causing more harm than good in the community.
“The obvious implication of this act of excavation of sand by these touts with their fellow conspirators is that the erosion will quickly spread to other parts of the community as a result of this excavation and more indigenes of the community will in no distant time be affected and rendered homeless.
“It is on record that Oko town and in particular Ezioko village had in past years suffered great losses to lives and properties as a result of the invasion of our farm lands, economic trees and residential homes by Erosion”, the letter added.
According to him, “presently, over 25% of the indigenes of our village and other villages in Oko town have either lost their loved ones, farm lands or residential homes due to the speedy and continuous invasion of our community by erosion and with this new trend of excavation of sand by the aforementioned conspirators, over 50% of the Community may likely be affected, if the situation is not urgently arrested”
He noted that the training which was organised for three states of Enugu, Benue and Delta was to sensitise stakeholders such as Civil Society Organisations, CSO, security agencies, the media, community leaders, religious groups on the role to play in reaching consensus in conflict and violent situations.
Speaking specifically on the Fulani herdsmen menace in the country, Elomhenricaon, pointed out that clashes between herdsmen and farmers could be checked if peaceable solution is sought to tackle the conflict before they escalate and degenerate to violence.
He further pointed out that rumour contributes in no small measure to promoting conflicts and violence because rumour can magnify an issue beyond proportion.
He urged every one to learn how to manage rumour in order to stop their spread. Pointing out that rumour fly in the absence of credible and frequent information.
The training was co-sponsored by ECOWAS and the European Union.