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Revisiting The State Of Mowe Roads, A Year After
In June 2011, Environment took a trip to Mowe in Obafemi Owode Local Government of Ogun State on a fact-finding mission. The mission was to see to the complaints of residents of the town, where no single presence of government could be felt as far social amenities are concerned. The economic viability of the town was highlighted; it’s potentials as well as challenges were spotted and reported.
But a year after Environment reported the pathetic state of the town, things have not changed a bit and as a matter of fact, the town is fast sinking into the oblivion of total neglect. During this rainy season, it has been a nightmare, to say the least, living in the town. This is because the place is usually flooded, leaving the roads and premises of houses uninhabitable.
The town, which is made up of 32 villages among which are Abule Afa, Ogunrun Ori, Ogunrun Eletu, Abaren, two towns of Imedu, Pakuro, Gbegira, and the seven towns of Ijere, among others, still gropes in the quagmire of bad roads, lack of drainages, absence of health centres, absence of public water, power, lack of chairs and desks for pupils in the only primary school available there, among others.
The town, which boasts a population of about 400,000 people, where projects are embarked upon by residents themselves, most of whom work in Lagos State, has major roads which include Ofada-Mowe road, Adesanolu road, Ogunrun road, Mowe-Pakuro road, Ashimolowo-Adesanolu road and Ajenibode road, which are bare and states of neglect.
These unattended-to roads are disgustingly bad and yet, through them, farm produce like kolanut, cocoa-yam, cocoa, fresh maize, vegetables, tomatoes and pepper, cassava, yam and the popular Ofada rice are transported to the main Mowe market and beyond.
The residents’ joy at the coming of progressive government of Senator Ibikunle Amosun, over a year ago, is beginning to turn sorrowful, as respite keeps eluding their lot.
It is, however, expected that as Governor Amosun recently promised to touch every part of the state, and much more with the election of a new chairman of Obafemi/Owode Local Government Area, a new lease of life awaits residents of the town.
Mixed Feelings Greet Demolition Of Illegal Structures, Okada Ban In Enugu
JUDE OSSAI in ENUGU captures the mood of people as regards the demolition of illegal structures in the state capital.
In Enugu State, the commencement of the demolition of illegal structures has been raising dust among residents of Enugu metropolis. First to draw media attention was the first civilian governor of old Enugu State, Dr Okwesilieze Nwodo, whose structure was brought down by some groups of youths suspected to be agents of the state government.
The perimetre fence and the gate to the property owned by the former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were allegedly bulldozed by agents believed to be working for the Enugu State government.
The property, which is situated directly opposite the Federal High Court on Aguleri Street, Independence Layout, Enugu, was demolished by operators, said to have been accompanied by three mobile policemen, when tenants living in a six-room-and-parlour bungalow within the property were yet to wake up from their sleep.
Nwodo’s manager in charge of the property, Charles Ogbuanya, who spoke on the development, explained that the said bungalow had been there for the past 16 years. He said that the bewildered occupants of the bungalow inquired from the government agents what was amiss, but they gave no response as they went about the demolition exercise.
Although it was not clear what informed the decision of the government to bring down the structure, the government said Nwodo was duly notified of its decision to revoke his ownership of the property last December 16.
State Commissioner for Lands, Chukwuemeka Ujam, reportedly confirmed the decision of the government to revoke Nwodo’s ownership of the property, saying the government had duly notified the former PDP boss last year.
“Yes, I am aware. We served him with a revocation notice and on December 16, 2011, we revoked his ownership of the land for breach of agreement. The government gave him the land to build a hospital. Since the plot has not been used for the purpose for which it was allocated, we saw it as a breach of covenant and revoked the ownership,” Ujam noted.
But Nwodo refuted government’s claim, stating that “there was no notice of any land revocation sent to me,” adding that when he got hints of such move two months ago, he had gone to the Director of Lands in the state’s Ministry of Lands, but that the director told him he was not aware of such moves.
He challenged the government to show proof of the revocation notice to him, saying “they should show evidence of delivery of such a letter to me.” The development appears to be re-engineering the latent unhealthy political bickering between Nwodo and Governor Sullivan Chime which played out during the last general elections.
Apart from the demolition of the ex-governor’s structure, residents of Amechi Road as well as other victims in the Enugu State capital are also lamenting the loss of their shops due to the demolition exercise.
It was learnt that Governor Chime’s convoy ran into a traffic jam along the Amechi Street, which resulted in his ordering the immediate removal of all illegal structures and filth blurring the aesthetics of the streets of Enugu.
Indeed, there is no gainsaying the fact that prior to Governor Chime’s order, there had been environmental degradation in the Coal City due to illegal structures, most of which were built on waterways and consequently preventing the free flow of water in the area.
The worst situation is the current trend where maize hawkers now dot the streets with refuse from maize husks, creating unpleasant scene in the environment.
Exacerbating green house emission in the coal city are carbon emission from the motorcycle operators popularly called Okada riders. Their operation was brought to a halt in Enugu territory by the authorities, largely due to environmental pollution and security of lives and property.
Consequently, an Enugu Magistrates’ Court presided over by Magistrate Ebere Udeze has sentenced two motorcycles operators within Enugu State capital to jail terms for violating Enugu State Law five, prohibiting motorcycle.
Commissioner for Information, Chuks Ugwoke, in a recent chat with reporters in Enugu said that the prohibition order became necessary to de-congest the streets, reduce road accidents and crime by some of the motorcycle operators, adding that their activities were disorderly, encouraging crimes and pose danger to lives and property.
He also explained that the council also considered, among others, the health hazards their operations pose to other road users and residents in terms of air pollution and accident.However, a human rights activist and National Coordinator, Human Rights Volunteer Corps, (HRVC), Larry Oguego has described the government’s decision as inhuman. According to him, most leaders do not have capacity to analyse problems in making decisions.
Oguego said that in a democratic nation, one of the things government must hold as sacrosanct is welfare and security of the people, regretting that Nigeria is the only country where government makes laws that make it impossible for people to earn their living.
“When you make a law saying that commcercial motorcycles operators, for instance, should not be used in major cities, you are emasculating the people who use these bike to earn a living,” he said.Share