At the moment, Umudora Anam people in Anambra West Local Government Area of Anambra State are groaning over heavy underdevelopment and abandonment. Ordinarily, electricity, portable water, hospitals, schools and good roads are some of the basic amenities needed to make life meaningful and worth living for a people. Sadly, none of these exist in this community.
Year in, year out, the people are promised better days ahead by political gladiators. But none, both at the local, state and federal levels, cares to fulfill the promises immediately elected into power. No doubt, the whole communities in Anambra West groan over lack of state and federal governments’ presence. But the case of Umudora is exceptionally worse. In utter bewilderment, the indigenes wonder when and how they offended God or man.
In the beginning, it was not like that. Umudora shared same level of pain, prominence and hope with other communities in the area. Disappointedly, in a twinkle of an eye, everything crumbled and they found themselves behind every other community. It started with a miscalculation by stakeholders at a time that merged Umudora and Umuikwu Anam as Ezi Anam autonomous community; notwithstanding the abundant evidence that before 1958, the two were originally separate communities.
Since then, government has related with both communities as one. This arrangement has persisted despite several representations made to different administrations in Anambra State to separate them. The administration of former Governor Chinweoke Mbadinuju somehow granted Umudora an autonomy but the certificate was unjustifiably withdrawn later by another administration.
The consequences have been legion and increased the agony of the people. The two communities have only one counselor representing them at the local government. They shared the N20million choose-your project from the state government unlike the other communities in Anambra State with less or similar population. They ought to have separate traditional rulers but they share one. Same applies to everything.
The only way the government remembered Umudora is the appointment of Sylvester Orji Okafor as the administrator of Anambra West who is a staunch member of All Peoples Grand Alliance (APGA). Aside him, no indigene of the community is among Governor Willie Obiano’s several political appointees. Umudora has no usable clinic, not to talk of a hospital. The people left without option have to depend on less equipped chemist shops or die of their ailments. The ones who could afford to go to hospitals are trapped because the roads leading to and out of Umudora are not motorable.
Anyone needing emergency is already sentenced to die except on God’s miraculous intervention because of the miserable road. The only access to the area now are canoes and engine boats with their attendant risks. Starting from Otuocha through the communities of Ezi Anam, down to Onono, even motorbikes find it extremely difficult to move not to talk of buses or cars.
At a time, Anambra State reportedly awarded the Oroma-Umudora-Umuikwu-Onono road, giving the people glimpse of hope. Few months after, the contractors abandoned the road, leaving heaps of sands dumped on the roads, making it totally impassable and worse than they met it. The story now is that the contractors may return to site after the rainy season but failed promises in the past make it impossible for the people to believe the government. Some ask, “is the government going to mobilize the contractors or still send them without money that made them abandon the project in the first place.”
As it is now, the people are taking their fate in their hands trying to see how they could have schools, hospitals and electricity. On their own, the youths are levying themselves through freewill donations to raise funds for these projects. Specifically, they have drawn plan for a secondary school building proposed to cost about N20million. Sadly, what has been raised so far is extremely meagre and many wonder if the projects could ever be realised without support from government.
They expect Anambra State government to come to their rescue and live up to its responsibilities no matter how small. Many expressed their willingness to give huge support to anyone who will go beyond promises and give them what they want, not later but now.