Tony Osauzo, Benin
Benin new city project, a brainchild of the Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, is to open up new area and encourage urban-rural migration.
The monarch gave the explanation after Access Bank Group Managing Director, Albert Wigwe, promised the bank’s support for the Satellite town project during his visit to the palace.
“We are talking about creating a new city, we want to open a new area that can encourage urban-rural migration. With this project, we will be able to achieve a lot in that regard.
“I have been praying to God to bring a man or woman to bring that to reality. This has been a dear project to me.
“When I started, I just had a vision, and today, God heard our prayers and brought Wigwe,” the Oba said, stressing that it would require billions of naira to bring the new city project to reality.
The Benin monarch, who was overwhelmed by the commitment of the Access Bank boss to the project, offered prayers of blessing upon him and the bank.
While promising the bank’s support for the palace’s activities and projects, Wigwe requested the Oba to give the bank privilege to support the oncoming Igue Festival.
Meanwhile, about 3,000 houses in Etsako Central Local Government Area of Edo were submerged by flood, following River Niger surge due to the release of water from Lagdo dam in Cameroon.
It was gathered that hectares of farmlands with cash crops and property worth millions of naira were also destroyed.
The communities affected are Anegbette, Udaba, Osomegbe, Ugochi, Ofukpo, Agbaburu, Uzanu and Ifeko.
Some of the victims, who spoke with newsmen, blamed the flood on the surge of River Niger.
One of the victims, Sunny Emokpa, expressed shock over the incident, saying the entire communities were flooded.
“Our farmlands have been destroyed, while houses have been submerged by water, thereby rendering us homeless.
“Our schools are now at the mercy of the flood as pupils have to manage to get to the class while some are completely out of school as the water had gone beyond what the children can manage.
“We are appealing to the federal and state governments for help,’’ Emokpa said.
Another victim, Sunny Eshemoboh, said he lost his entire property to the flood.
“The flood has wreaked havoc on our buildings; as you can see; our houses have been submerged by the flood.
“We are appealing to the relevant authorities to come to our aid,’’ Eshemoboh said.
Mrs Rita Akinabor said she lost all her farm produce to the flood.
“I invested N500,000 in cultivating my farm and I am now worried that just at about harvest time, most of my crops have been washed away by the flood,’’ she said.
The council Vice Chairman, Ambrose Akhigbe, said the local government had commenced the clean-up of the Federal Government’s resettlement camp for internally displaced persons in Oghomere with the aim of relocating the flood victims to the area.
In 2018, over 1,000 houses were submerged and hundreds of people displaced by flood in the area.