By Victor Ajihromanus
Over 20000 residents of communities in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State, barely 10 kilometers from the bank of River Niger, are facing imminent extermination if nothing urgent is done owing to flooding.
They have lost their homesteads, farmland, dear ones, agricultural products etc following regular flood upsurge from the river since August this year.
The causes of the yearly upsurge according to Chief Onyekwere Nwadialo, 60 year old and Mrs. Nkiru Nwafili, 52 years old both natives of Ossomala community is the alleged insensitivity of the Federal Government of Nigeria in dredging River Niger, despite the clamors which according to them since 2012 each time there’s a heavy rainfall, the river quickly over flows it’s bank instigating excess flood that wreaks havoc on their lives, goods and properties.
The situation is so pathetic seeing thousands of innocent children being unduely exposed to unfriendly weather as their families now lives on road side, cook on the road sides, sleeps on the road and peddles canoe to enter their water log compounds.
So bad is the situation that Mr. Festus Mbisiogu, a philanthropist, who visited the area with journalists warned against an outbreak of epidemic if nothing urgent is done to relocate and rehabilitate the victims.
These autonomous communities which are barely 10 minutes drive from Onitsha metropolis, even as the food baskets of the state and Nigeria in general are mainly located along the ever busy Atani – Ozubulu express road includes Aboh Atani, Ossomala, Umunankwo, Mbutu and Ogbakuba among others.
Fortunately, this council area has produced great men and women in the nation’s socioeconomic endeavors like late Chief Osita Osadebe, Senator Stella Odua and Chief Sule Ugbema among litany of others as only Senator Odua being the Senator representing the senatorial zone and Hon. Somotochukw Udeze, the council area House of Assembly representative is said by the survived residents to have intermittently brought some palliatives as food items to them.
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Nwadialo and Nwafili further lamented that for the past eight years, despite the communities economic and social potentials, they have been forced to live with these bread of sorrows as their children no longer go to schools as there are no school nor hospital buildings in any of the communities.
However, Mbisiogu who drew Journalists attention to the plights of the people, narrated how providence unconsciously took him to the area as he was returning from Anambra state to Imo State last weekend and his driver mistakenly lost track of their route to Owerri only to see themselves in Ossomala community where flood have caused thousands of people to be displaced and living in an inhuman environment that are likely to ignite epidemics, if unchecked.
This prompting him to be spiritually and physically in trauma, more so, his hand set phone battery he said was low, thus frustrated his desire to video shots and appealed to the conscience of the nation.
According to him “on getting to Owerri, my conscience continued to prick me on the level of sufferings the people were being subjected into especially the children and women. As if God wants me to do something this morning(Tuesday) I received a heart touching video of the area in one of the ‘What App’ group I belong, again I was psychologically restless prompting me to abandoned all my activities today and arranged for journalists for on the spot analysis.
I am personally taking pictures and videos, I will present to public domain. To see if Federal Government can rescue these people to avert imminent epidermics. There’s urgent need to relocate and rehabilitate these people. Honestly, it will be a national mockery if any foreign media gets assess to any of these communities and exposed what they have been subjected into for years in a country parading herself as the giant of Africa.
These people are on daily basis living in pains, you can notice their excitement seeing us and believing that truly a Daniel has come to their judgement. They taught, we are one of the Federal Government agencies handling ecological issues. I can’t believed it that these kind of things are happening in Nigeria to Nigerians within the 21st century” he pointed out.”