Umuezeawara: A community long forgotten

By Nkiru Orji on 22/04/2015

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Ordinarily, the Umuezeawara village in Ihiala, Ihiala Local government area of Anambra State has no reason to be thrown up for public discuss no thanks to the deplorable state of its major road. 
Similarly the community has conservatively lost over forty-five persons in several road mishaps due to the reckless menace of tipper drivers that pass through from the road to the sand excavation sites at the Atamiri river. 
The road which was first constructed by the regime of former President Shehu Shagari in 1980 stretches from Okija junction passing through Ihiala to Egbema in Imo State and down to River State. 

At some point the road was in a  deplorable state which led to reconstruction of some parts of it . 
Few years after the reconstruction work had been completed, the road had several sports dilapidated due to the so much pressure on the road by over 120 Mercedes 911 tipper that ply on the road on daily bases. 
At the Afor Igwe Umudara village market the traders lamented the hardship being faced on every market day. 
Forty –four years old Mr Lious   Okani  from Umuezeawara who spoke with our reporter noted that “Before  these tipper drivers started using the road, we had no problems we had enough space to do our trading suddenly the road began to form deep pot holes and it also expanded encroaching into the market”. 
“I lost my seven year old son Chukwuebuka  to the accident that occurred few months ago. He was returning home from the school when one of the tippers hit him and he died on the sport”
“The worst is that the driver ran away with his tipper and all my efforts to find out the particular driver that killed my son proved abortive because hundred of them pass through that road on daily bases with speed.”
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Deplorable state of Road

Same is the trauma being passed through by twenty-eight year old widow whose husband got knocked down by another tipper on his way to a village meeting.

“When this one killed my husband he noticed that the village youths are trailing him, he drove straight to the Police station and reported him self. At the end of everything they only paid us the sum of N200,000 for the burial of my husband and even when we thought that they would as a result of the incident checkmate their recklessness, the situation has worsened there by killing many more people in the village”

Oddy Chukwube  the Chief press secretary to former governor of Anambra State Dr Chinwoke Mbadinuju, told our reporter  that the situation is worrisome.“I feel troubled about what my village is going through. You can even see it yourself. Infact we lack words to express the havoc being caused by these truck drivers. Before of this we have made sustained representations to he National Assembly through our legislator at the National Assembly Chief Forth Dike, the community Leaders are meeting and after that we shall also speak with the State government before taking the next line of action.
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Chief  Chukwudolue

The Traditional Head of Umuezeawara  Ogbuehi James Chukwudolue explained that “The tipper drivers start as early as everyday and the way they drive around our village is a threat to lives and even peoples building. They do not respect traffic rules and even when other road users complain they are sometimes beaten up. Since 1964 that I became the traditional head of this village I have never witnesses this number of deaths in recent times”

Village chairman of Umuezeawara, Dr Donatus Iberi alleged “The reason why these tipper drivers are behaving shows that there  are some people behind them. We know that this is business for some people but it should not be to the detriment of our lives and the major road that passed through our village. You need to come here when it rains. You cannot even move around. Several vehicles have gotten sucked on those deep and wide pot holes which can even passed for a gully. Some times people follow bush paths to go to where ever they want to go”.

Veteran Journalist in the Pa Hycienth Nwabineli lamented that” We are really suffering so much , look at the road infront of my house, it is always like River Niger and we will always place logs of wood for people to walk across. I can tell you that so far so many school children and farmers have been killed by these tipper drivers. The number is between forty to fifty persons that have died so far. We appeal to government to come to our aide at this juncture”
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A comminity begging for speedy attention
Aside the menace of tipper drivers and the condition of the road, the excavation of sand from the Atamiri River has placed vegetation around the river on the risk of ecologically.

Hydro Geologist Dr Emmanuel Nwabineli explained that “As a professional and an environmentalist I can tell you that our environment is under threat. I know the size of the river in the past but the level of degradation occasioned by the excavation of sand is a potential danger that would soon come. I have sent petitions to the federal ministry of environment and also the state government on the matter , you know that before one begins to excavate sand at any point, you must carry out environmental impact Assessment (EIA) . But this was not done. 

When reporters visited the office of the Commissioner for Environment Mr Evarist Uhah he was said to have been away on official assignment but a staff in the office of the Public Relations Officer confirmed that there was a petition brought before the ministry adding that in due course government would look into the matter.


Source Whirlwindnews

Posted on April, 22 2015

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