Nnewi – About 500 residents of Obeleagu/Nkisi Aroli Street, Inland Town, Onitsha, Onitsha North Local Government Area of Anambra State have been rendered homeless following the collapse of their residential buildings as a result of deepening state of the erosion site.
Over five houses, including two storey buildings housing both landlords and tenants, including Omega family, Ikenna Emodi, Chuka Nwankwo, Mrs. Nzekwu, Lawrence Edozie, Amechi Osemeka, St. Philips Anglican Church, a school belonging to Redeemed Christian Church of God among others had already caved into the gully, while other nearby houses are seriously under threat.
Though no life was lost as the displaced residents were clever enough to have left the houses before they collapsed, their house-hold properties estimated at billions of naira were sunk into the gully, which prompted their passionate appeal to both the federal and state government authorities to come to their rescue by way of compensation and recovery of their land from erosion.
They specifically appealed to the state Governor Willie Obiano for his quick intervention towards salvaging the remaining buildings.
In a save our soul, SOS, message addressed to Lynda Ikpeazu, member representing Onitsha North/South federal constituency in the National Assembly, Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Environment, Ecological Fund Office, Abuja, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and President Muhammadu Buhari, the victims cried for urgent assistance from all the quarters as according to them, “our homes, legacies and inheritance are being destroyed with reckless abandon”.
The letters partly read: “We expected that the Onitsha North local government and the State Ministry of Environment would have come urgently to our rescue to stop further impact. We have also informed the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe about the ugly incident and we are waiting for his intervention, even as he is preparing for his annual ofala festival.
“Now, more buildings will soon go once it rains. We fear for our lives. Our hearts ache because of property of families and legacies lost.”
Spokesperson of the community, Mr. Arthur Mazeli, told reporters Wednesday that they had also written to the National Assembly through their representatives, Lynda Ikpeazu and Sen. Stella Odua, with no response from any of them.
He said, “Some officials of the state government including Commissioners for Envrionment and Agriculture, Commissioner of Police have visited the site, making bogus promises.
“All efforts so far made are purely communal but they are so infinitesimal to the magnitude of the scourge.”
Debunking insinuation that some structures were built on water channel, Mazeli explained that the drainage channel which collected water from the upper part of Inland Town gave way due to the force of the flood which started eating deep into the soft soil.
On his part, the Priest in charge of St. Philips Anglican Church, Umu-Aroli, Rev. Chinedu Agugua, thanked God that no life had been lost to the erosion, but said they were eagerly looking forward to government’s immediate intervention.
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