Soludo: Ex-VP, Ekwueme’s Community May Go Extinct in Next 50 Years Because of Erosion

David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka 

Anambra State Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo has said that the Oko community in Orumba North Local Government Area, where former Vice President of Nigeria, the late Dr. Alex Ekwueme, hailed from may go extinct in the next 50 years as a result of erosion.

Soludo stated this at the weekend while unveiling a magnificent civic centre in the community, which was built by a group of prominent sons of the community, and named after the late elder statesman.

The governor said since he became governor, he had held town hall meetings with only two communities, and that Oko was part of it.

He said there was the need to do everything possible to stop erosion in the community as it now threatens the existence of the entire community.

“Since I became governor, I have held two town hall meetings with two communities about problems threatening them. The communities are Oko and Ekwulobia, and the reason is because of erosion menace.

“We need to do what we have to do today to avoid Oko going into extinction. If we do not take this project seriously, we may not have an Oko community in the next 50 to 60 years to come.

“This was part of the things Ekwueme fought against, and which occupied his thoughts when he was alive, but it was not achieved.”

The governor said there were human factors that aided erosion and listed sand mining and disposal of refuse in drainages as some of them.

While calling for a proper method of waste disposal, Soludo announced a ban on sand mining in the community.

“Sand miners are part of the people spoiling Oko. We had met before and agreed to stop it by forming a task force to check them. We have heard that sand mining is the only source of livelihood for some people in this community, but we will hold a meeting about it. 

“From next week, I will sign an executive order banning sand mining in the Oko community, and we will arrest those doing it and seize their vehicles for one year. From next week, we will start implementing the executive order.”

Soludo regretted that even if he sinks Anambra’s entire resources into the Oko community, it would still not be enough to tackle erosion in the community. He called for partnerships with rich individuals in the community to come together and join hands with the government to keep the memories of Ekwueme alive.

He commended indigenes of the community for building the Alex Ekwueme Civic Centre, Oko, while also unveiling a statue of the former vice president.

In memory of Ekwueme, Soludo announced the award of Pal brewery road, an industry founded by Ekwueme. 

Earlier, the chairman of the organising committee of the event, who is also the coordinator of Ide Memorial Group, Mr. Handel Okoli, praised the governor for his good works in the state, while pointing out some specific projects that needed to be attended to in the community.

He also praised the late Ekwueme for his legacies in the community, Anambra, and Nigeria in general.

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