Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
The member representing Orumba North and South federal constituency of Anambra State, Chief Okwudili Ezenwankwo, has said that his constituency is the headquarters of erosion in the world.
Nwankwo, who appealed to the Federal Government and the World Bank to come to their rescue, alleged that about 15 houses had been swallowed and over 1,000 households rendered homeless while countless farmlands and livestock were destroyed by the erosion.
He made the especial appeal during his empowerment programme at Nanka community where about 2,000 people received various monetary or material gifts from either the constituency empowerment programme or his foundation.
Lamenting over the situation, he said: “One of the greatest challenges we have in this country is erosion and I keep on saying that no state government has the power to tackle erosion problem, especially the type of erosion in Anambra State. And when you talk of erosion in Nigeria, you talk about South-East and, when you talk about erosion in South-East, you talk about Anambra State.
“We have more than 1,000 erosion sites across the state, and when you talk about erosion in Anambra State you talk of Nanka/Oko erosion sites. Nanka/Oko erosion sites are the largest erosion sites in the whole world.
“As a matter of urgency, Federal Government has to do something in tackling the erosion menace in my constituency because Anambra State government cannot tackle the menace alone; we even need international/foreign assistance from World Bank and other agencies. I appeal to the Federal Government to prioritise tackling of erosion menace in the affected areas, especially in my constituency.
“I also urge the House Committee on Ecological Fund to ensure compliance. One of the erosion sites in my community has swallowed over 15 houses, rendered over 1,000 households homeless, including their farmlands and livestock. The sites are there, you can go there to see things for yourself. Anambra needs help, my constituency Orumba North and South needs help to tackle erosion in the state. We are dying here; Federal Government should come to our rescue.”
Regardless of the environmental devastation in the area, there was jubilation in in Nanka community as the Okwudili Ezenwankwo Foundation commissioned a bungalow it built for Mr. Madueke Okoye, a physically challenged person in the area.
Also, the foundation at the event commemorating its annual empowerment programme, distributed seven tricycles, 24 motorcycles, 80 laptop computers and 2000 exercise books.
Other items distributed to different categories of individuals include 25 refrigerators, 500 pieces of wrappers, 500 cartons of noodles, 1,750 bags of rice and 1250 pairs of sandals.
In his address at the event held at the Agbiliba village field, Chairman of the foundation, Mr. Iloegbunam Okoye, said that the foundation has been engaged in youth empowerment and poverty alleviation for the past 13 years.
He also said the foundation has scholarship scheme for the indigent but brilliant students among whom many have graduated and some still in schools.
On the selection he said, “We wrote to seven villages in Nanka to forward 10 names of indigents persons and widows, we also wrote all the towns in Orumba North and South to forward names of persons to be empowered. We are doing to touch the lives people in these council areas.”
The benefactor, Chief Ezenwankwo, who also used the occasion to empower members of his political party, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), said the beneficiaries were selected from even beyond his constituency.
He said that over 200 students were currently enjoying the foundation’s scholarship, while 350 indigent persons benefit from its free health insurance scheme.
Ezenwankwo said: “If you are wealthy, but do not share with the poor, you have not done the proper thing; because, God blesses one to be a blessing to others.”
National Chairman of APGA Chief Victor Oye and State President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Damian Okeke (Ogene) who witnessed the distribution of the empowerment items commended the lawmaker for affecting the lives of people across his constituency and the state.
They urged him to continue in that gesture and admonished other well-meaning Nigerians and lawmakers to emulate the kind gesture which he started even before he became a federal legislator and urged the beneficiaries to put the items to good use.