By: Sam Obinna Ibe,
The people of Umuchime in Umuchime na Ofeiyi Autonomous community, Ogbodiukwu, Umuopara in Umuahia South LGA of Abia State are calling for urgent Government intervention at all levels concerning the ravaging erosion menace that is seriously threatening homes and properties of the people.c.
It could be recalled that some team of journalists from Umuahia and Abuja upon hearing about the devastating effect of Umuchime gully erosion visited the erosion sites, thereafter, returned to interview the traditional ruler and his subjects on their feelings towards the erosion that has cut off Umuchime Okpuala, their kins at Ofeiyi and the rest of Ogbodiukwu.
Speaking in an interview with the Traditional ruler of Umuchime na Ofeiyi Autonomous community Ogbodiukwu, Umuopara,in his palace,HRH Eze (Dr) Sir Obioha Brown Uluocha, Oparaukwu 1 Gburugburu during the inspection tour of Umuchime gully erosion sites at Odoko ngwo and the one at late Elder Richard Ukagba’s place last Friday,Eze Uluocha regrettably said that the situation at hand is beyond the financial capability of his autonomous community, therefore needs serious government intervention.
The Royal father who lamented that the efforts of his community in past in curtailing the erosion menace has not yielded positive result due to the enormity of devastation.
Eze Obioha Uluocha lamented that during festivities, that motorists uses Umuchime/Ofeiyi Ogbodiukwu road when Amachara Amankwo axis of the main road is blocked,and wondered while help should not come to people with such a strategic road.
He therefore called on Federal and State Governments, Ecological office and other relevant agencies saddled with the responsibilities of controlling the erosion menace to come to the aid of Umuchime na Ofeiyi Autonomous community in order to save their residential buildings, Community halls, properties, economic trees from being swallowed by the threatening erosion menace.
On his part,the President General of Umuchime na Ofeiyi Autonomous community Ogbodiukwu,Elder Chief Victor Uzechi Igbokwe said that erosion has become a nightmare to the community adding that all efforts geared towards providing remedial measures have failed due to the devastating effect of the gully erosion.
The President General joined hands with their traditional ruler,Eze Obioha Uluocha and the people to plead with Government at all levels to quickly intervene in order to save the lives and property of their people pointing out that the gully erosion is spreading out fastly and is on the verge of swallowing residential buildings of Umuchime Ogbodiukwu people.
He also called the community ‘s elected members of Abia House of Assembly and National Assembly to see Umuchime gully erosion as a matter of urgent public importance which they should present at the floors of both State and National Assemblies, stressing that if there is no urgent intervention,the people living around the erosion menace may be forced to relocate to their maternal’s place in order avert danger of their residential homes being swallowed by the devastating effect of erosion menace.
Whereas,Chief( Journalist) Sam Obinna Ibe,the Chairman Correspondents Chapel of Abia state Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists,NUJ who is also the Media Adviser to Eze Obioha Uluocha,the traditional ruler of Umuchime na Ofeiyi Autonomous community, Ogbodiukwu also decried the plight of the people while calling for urgent Government intervention.
Chief Obinna Ibe noted with concern the anguish of his people noting that that the gully erosion site was the very road his Ofeiyi people of Umuchime na Ofeiyi Autonomous community passes to meet with their kins at the other end of Umuchime,to go to Ogbodiukwu primary/ secondary schools school and Ebenezer Methodist church but alas, today,the erosion has cut off the road and made it impassable as they had to turn round from Mbara before they could have access to their brothers over there.
According to him,” I attended Ogbodiukwu Community primary school, worshipped at Methodist church, Odoko ngwo ,Ogbodiukwu in early 70s to 80s before leaving the village but today, Ofeiyi people cannot have access to the road or their Umuchime brothers in the affected areas also have access to see them at Ofeiyi,this is how pathetic the story of the gully erosion is”
Meanwhile,other members of the community interviewed who did not want their names in print supported their traditional ruler and the President General in appealing for urgent Government intervention.