Joe C. Anatune*
Writes from Awa
*THE RAVAGES OF EROSION IN OKO AND THE SOLUDO SOLUTION*
Citizen Ifeanyi Ezeokonkwo’s daily struggles in the face of a rampaging and ravaging erosion menace rattle us to the stark reality that Oko is on the precipice, and that something will give sooner or later if nothing is done. Ezeokonkwo passes through the erosion gullies or hell hole if you like, to access his precarious homestead. He bemoans that his community, which is home to a Federal Polytechnic, is under a major threat from the ravages of soil erosion. He confessed that Cee Cee Soludo is the first governorship candidate that has shown concern for the plight of his community.
Now, who will rescue Citizen Ezeokonkwo and his Oko Community from eminent collapse? Wait a minute.
Following discussions on the subject with Chief Mrs. Ifeoma Ekwueme, Handel Okoli and other concerned Oko stakeholders, Cee Cee Soludo, the APGA Governorship Candidate for the November 6, 2021 election, came to Oko on Wednesday, September 29, 2021 to see things first hand. The long stretch to the erosion site was easy walking down the sharp slope. However, coming back up slope wasn’t an easy task as many lumbered along but not for Soludo, who showed that he is physically and mentally fit to lead Anambra as its next governor with the attendant challenges of a post-oil 4th industrial revolution world, despite the challenges of Covid-19.
Guided by Handel Okoli, a lawyer and astute politician; Ogochukwu Ekwueme, aide to Governor Obiano and other key Oko stakeholders, Soludo was visibly shaken by what he saw, especially the plight of Citizen Ezeokonkwo which to him, is now a metaphor for the threats posed by environmental degradation and other agents of denudation. He proposed a three-pronged solution to the delight of Handel Okoli and his team. First is the responsibility of individuals in channelling and managing the water that comes from their homes. Second is a collective, community based action towards amelioration and third is the interventions of government and donor communities for full restoration. He said that on election as governor and assumption of office, he will engage Oko community to agree on clear-cut roles of individuals, the community and government, assuring that full remedial and restoration activities will not be delayed.
Soludo knows that erosion constitutes a major threat to Anambra State, which has the smallest landmass in Nigeria, after Lagos State. A safe and clean environment that supports sustainable development forms a critical aspect of his People’s Manifesto for a Greater Anambra.
A Soludo governorship therefore will not only wipe away the tears of Oko community but those of other communities that share the same erosion and other environmental challenges.
Sure, with Soludo, we will live happily in a prosperous Anambra State that will be home to the world.
Be of good cheer!
*Joe C. Anatune*
Writes from Awa