From David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
For the people of Igbo-Ukwu community in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State, life has become drudgery.
This is because devastating flood has hit them hard, claiming household property, economic trees, cash crops, domestic animals and other valuables belonging to them.
Recounting the losses the residents have encountered after some heavy rainfall, the traditional ruler of the community, HRH Igwe Martin Ezeh, Idu II, lamented that the cause of the flood disaster was a bad portion of the federal road that leads from Awka-Etiti to Igbo-Ukwu, which he said had been neglected for so long despite several representations he had made to the Anambra State and Federal governments to come to their rescue.
The Igwe lamented that a track road to his palace from the major road had become so bad that it was completely impassable this rainy season, saying that it has crippled activities in his palace.
He told Daily Sun that vehicles got stuck on the road on a daily basis since the rainy season began this year “like other years.”
He complained that some members of the Igbo-Ukwu community could not in this rainy period access the community’s local market as they have been cut off by bad road.
Igwe Ezeh noted that the situation had brought economic hardship to his subjects since they could no longer take their farm produce to the market because of the deplorable condition of the road.
“To compound our problem, communities around us have electricity, but we are in perpetual darkness. And our youths who use electricity for their small-scale businesses have been thrown out of business thereby exposing them to the risk of joining criminal gangs. And we are not connected to the national grid.
“As we know that this government cares, we are using this medium to specially request His Excellency’s intervention in the completely broken down erosion prone portion of Nnewi-Ekwulobia Road at Igbo-Ukwu.
“This portion of the road has caused a lot of nightmare to the road users. This has also caused vehicles plying that road to now utilize the village roads thus creating flooding and erosion within the community. Our people’s farmlands have all been eroded and many building collapsed under heavy flooding and these have increased the burden of our people,”the traditional ruler lamented.
Apart from the ecological problem facing the community, Igwe Ezeh revealed that the Igbo-Ukwu community had been in crisis for some time now because of the absence of a president general.
This situation, he said, had put security of the town under threat, adding that the leadership crisis in the community’s market had made matters worse.
He noted that the twin problems had bedeviled the community for the past six years thereby stalling meaningful development in Igbo-Ukwu.
The traditional rule, therefore, appealed to Governor Willie Obiano to direct the Attorney General of the state to use his office to discontinue and withdraw all cases pertaining to the town union crises.
He assured the warring groups of co-operation to ensure that the peace process was smooth.
The Igwe regretted that the crisis rocking the community had degenerated for so long to the extent that some members of the community now see themselves as enemies.
He said that the Igbo-Ukwu people were tired of ad-hoc measures the government has been putting up in the town, saying that “we rather want a permanent solution to all those problems.”