Gov Alex Otti is leading a revolution in the territory that appears abandoned for the past 2 decades and he needs all the support from his people and not the kind of uncouth oppositions I come across on the social media
By Njoku SaintJerry A.
These are dire times and the realities on ground do not require niceties, neither would palliatives suffice, albeit tolerable, therefore I will go straight to business and save us the mystery of folk tales and misery of political correctness
South East Nigeria is in dire straight, and require an emergency situation to reconnect the region to the reality of life, the economy and accessibility of basic social amenities.
Such realities must be driven by purpose and passion and not mere political persuasiveness or rhetoric. The aspiration of the man in the leadership saddle must be firm and he must be committed to bringing into reality every speech, promises and statement that has buoyed a mass appeal and popular support to his administration.
At the moment, there is only one purpose I consider viable – The purpose to change the underprivileged environmental condition of people of the South East region and being passionate and sincere to see that accomplished within the shortest time frame available.
One of the major focus of various South East Economic Summit has been on developing the region until recently ‘Security’ was added into the agenda and now ‘Unity.’ Most interestingly, all these ideas are interwoven and inseparable. Until you are able to achieve unity, even a partial cohesiveness, security is bound to elude you and without security, development is certain to be difficult but most importantly is the passion to make these changes happen at each phase it comes into focus, whether it is infrastructural development, security or uniting the people to pursue a common goal.
Since the leadership of the South East region has learned to come together to pursue Unity, Security and Development, it becomes paramount that we draw our attention to the most devastating situation facing entire region at the moment.
There is no road to South East, not one viable road network to connect with, in order to develop the rich resources that abound in the region.
Driving from Umuahia connecting through any exit road from Imo State through Mgbidi or Ihaia, or Driving out of Onitsha from Oba, going to Lagos through Benin City, or driving from Abia State connecting to Port Harcourt, Calabar etc whether you are coming from Lagos, from Port Harcourt, Calabar or from Abuja connecting to the East, Entire road is cut off with some dividing into a wide gully erosion site leaving motorists to ply through the bushes or struggle through a single dangerous lane.
At Benin Bypass, the road is completely cut off, leaving all motorists to ply through single narrow pathway, the sight of heavy duty truck and passenger buses struggling to maneuver their ways in a very frustrating and scary road conditions will leave you wondering what has all the South East Economic Summit brought to the table.
Beyond rhetoric and good intentions you cannot achieve anything unless you have a clear cut purpose and the passion to see that purpose achieved.
We have had the South East Economic Summit for some years with the 7th edition held last year December 2022 yet sordid sights as very bad road networks to connect to the South East from any region outside the South East continue to pose a nightmare, the same fear applies to Enugu-Onitsha highways, Enugu-Awka Highways etc.
Most interestingly, when the ordinary people and road users lodge complaints on these sordid sights, you will hear excuses like “these are federal roads” whereas in my recent journeys I always get down in the middle of the entire scary scenario to take stock of the number of people and vehicles plying these roads – they’re 98% South Easterners and their businesses in jeopardy while those who claim Federal Presence are in Abuja and may know very little or nothing about the situations of these roads unless they are compelled to come down and see the dangerous situations we have been exposed.
Connecting the region through proper road network should be the primary concern of all South East leaders and Igbo political elites, Party politics aside, let every person of means and network endeavour to utilise every opportunity of the presence of Engineer Dave Umahi and get into partnership to reconnect the South East to economic reality.
Governor Chukwuma Soludo was at the recent Summit held in Owerri, he spoke passionately and advised indigenes to come home and invest in the region only for the indigenes to arrive at Onitsha to see the good roads left by his predecessors from Head Bridge connecting to Upper Iweka, Oba etc are all dangerous no-go- zones, I sighted a tractor at the erosion site near Oba engaged in what appears to be a palliative work. No, What Onitsha and Oba require is an extension of the quality of work ongoing from the New Niger Bridge back to those erosion sites that will soon cut off the roads Governor Soludo is asking people of the South East to ply through while visiting home.
And coming back to the request for Unity, Political leaders of the South East region must take the pains to teach their followers that once a leader emerged by popular choice of the people, he should, by default, enjoy the support of all for the benefit of the development of the region and its people – Governor Soludo enjoyed that popular support, Peter Mba is doing the best within his reach to balance the equation between the ruling party and the opposition, Governor Alex Otti of Abia State is leading a revolution in the territory that appears abandoned for the past 2 decades and he needs all the support from his people and not the kind of uncouth oppositions I come across on the social media for a man that has shown resilience, passion and commitment to rebuild a state that was almost ruined by political actors.
The Igbos are known to rally round values and not personalities, therefore for such governors as Governor Alex Otti, Peter Mba etc whom have taken a great leap despite all odds to show that we can achieve the kind of Change we envisage, people in the region should give them all the support and shun whatever it is that continue to divide us and deprive us from attracting what we continue to refer to as ‘federal presence.’
The roads are very bad and shameful to ply through and it requires an emergency from those in positions, those that are passionate to see things work better for the interest of the region and a commitment from every resident and indigenes of the South East to bring the Change we desire so much.
Let’s unite with our leaders and support their good deeds to achieve the kind of South East we all dream of and we will begin to enjoy the development and security of the region.