As paramount ruler, residents shed tears of joy
By Peter Duru – Makurdi
“For over 40 years we lived in Makurdi but our only access to other parts of the town from our community was a waterlogged footpath that sometimes becomes impassable whenever there is a heavy down.
“But all that has changed with the construction of an asphalt road in our community after being neglected by successive governments.”
That was the testimonial of an elated District Head of Nyorgungu community, Chief James Dzaan, who praised the Governor Samuel Ortom administration to high heavens for constructing the nine kilometres asphalt road that opened up the Customary Court of Appeal -Pever Agenga-Nyorgungu-Makurdi International Market Road that has suddenly changed the story of a hitherto forgiven community in the heart of Makurdi town.
The paramount who was full of commendation for the state government for pulling the community out of its total despondency and neglect said the project had given his people a sense of belonging. “And, now we know that we are in Makurdi town,” Dzaan said.
“Before now, the late Ape Aku’s administration around 1980 tried to open up our community by carving out the road but that government could not execute the project when it was removed.
“Since then we have been living like a forgotten people. One could hardly leave their houses especially when it rained. We went through hell for over 40 years despite our cries to previous governments to help us create an access road to enable us to live like people in the town but no one gave ears to our cry until this government like a joke took up the project and today our story has changed.
“We must commend Governor Samuel Ortom for making this possible and we want to appeal to the government to cap this inestimable achievement with the provision of potable water to our community now that the roads have opened us up to the outside world.
“I must add that for doing this my subjects have agreed with one voice that we are politically indebted to the Governor and he should be assured that that debt will be paid whenever he seeks any political office in the future,” Chief Dzaan added.
Also speaking, one of the oldest residents of the community, Mr. Steven Kparevde, said he never knew a road would ever pass through the community in his lifetime.
“I never knew it would happen. We were like a forgotten people. Interestingly, students of Benue State University, which is not too far from the community always come here to seek accommodation outside the university campus yet no government deemed it fit to open up the community until this government heard our cry of over 40 years.
I lack words to express my joy and that of all residents of the community. We cannot thank this administration enough. But we will of course remain eternally grateful and also supportive of the government,” Mr. Kparevde adds.
Also speaking, 70-year-old Alaka Cham lauded the state government for giving his community a road before his passage.
Cham said: “Before now we only passed through a footpath to gain access into our community. Anyone who owned a vehicle would either park it somewhere in town or come home on a commercial motorbike or you look for a bush path through which you can access your home.”
“That was our story here in Nyorgungu and part of Paver Agenda. Even though we live in Makurdi it was like we live hundreds of kilometres away from the town. Today we cry tears of joy and not of pains and sorrows as was the case for several years.
“And as we give God all the glory for using this government to change our story,” the septuagenarian added.