Thursday, 17 September 2015


The people of Ideato in Orlu Senatorial Zone of Imo State are no longer happy. They are particularly angry that their son and brother-governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha has allowed them to suffer untold hardship.
Presently, they have been ravaged by erosion, which has completely cut off their town from the rest of the state.
The Okwelle-Uruala road which linked most of the communities to the rest of the state has broken into two thereby cutting them off from the rest of the state while Okorocha looked the other way and instead constructed a new road that led to his house at Ugboka.
In this interview with Oriental News, Prince Nixon Okwaram, the son of the late traditional ruler of Isiekenesi and chairman, Ideato South Council of Tradtional Rulers, His Royal Highness, Eze Cypril Okawauba, lamented that his people have been abandoned by the state and federal governments.
According to him, the people of Ideato are now living in agony and fear as a result of erosion menace, which is now pulling down their houses and destroying their farm lands. Prince Okwara also spoke on other issues.
What is the state of the ecological problems confronting Ideato people?
Without being told, you should know that the rainy season is always the most active period of erosion. Right now, Isiekenesi in particular and Ideato as a whole has become the Bermuda Triangle of Nigeria, that is the place of no return because we are now completely cut off from the rest of Imo State.
The Okwelle-Uruala road which is the link road has broken into two that it is only swam boggies that can ply it. Apart from that, the erosion is now pulling down houses and destroying our farmlands. My people have been abandoned by both the Imo and federal governments to suffer and die. This is very unfortunate.
But Governor Okorocha is from the area; what is he doing about it?
That is what is baffling me because the road in question is what he has been using all his life. The road was built by the army in the 90s. It was in the process of conveying the engineers that were constructing the road that armed robbers snatched my father’s car and almost killed him. That is one of the reasons I am very passionate about the road because my father who was the traditional ruler of Isiekenesi and chairman, Ideato South Council of Traditional Rulers then almost lost his life while trying to ensure that it was constructed because it is very important to the people of Ideato.
Before now, the road has been manageable, but before the election, Rochas Okorocha graded it to give the impression that he wanted to construct it but later he abandoned it. The continuous rain has now completely made the road impassable. Okorocha himself has now constructed a fresh road from Orlu to Mgbe to his house at Ugboka, thereby cutting off Isiekenesi to
The only road to Osina for the residents of Isiekenesi is from Dikenafia which was constructed by former Governor Ikedi Ohakim, which is like the Isrealite journey in the wilderness.
So, that is where we are at the moment. My people are suffering. Farmers cannot take their products to the market due to there is no road.
Even if we have a case of emergency, we will be doomed because there is no road to get to us in good time. I am aware of the fact that the road is a Federal Government responsibility but the governor is from there and knows the agony that the people there are going through; he should have rehabilitated it and then put claims to the Federal Government like former Governor Peter Obi did. Does it mean that if a Federal Government-owned house falls on somebody in Imo State that we should not go to help the victims because the house belongs to the Federal Government?
Apart from the issue of road, are there other challenges facing your people?
The problem of Isiekenesi in particular and Ideato are legion. As I told you earlier, we have been completely abandoned by the governments of the day.
As I am talking to you now, there is no electricity in Isiekenesi. The 300 kva transformer that is serving over 150,000 people was bought in the 90s through communal efforts. The community contributed money to buy it. We have none from the state or the Federal Government and yet our people are subjected to pay electricity bills for the service they never consumed because the transformer is no longer functioning effectively due to old age and lack of maintenance.
There is also no pipe borne water in Isiekenesi, the water that my people are drinking is from a stream that dries up during the dry season. That will give you the picture of what is confronting our town. No road, no water and no electricity. I am wondering why we are being subjected to this type of hardship and suffering by our own son. Again, as I am talking to you now, we don’t even have any son or daughter of Isiekenesi serving in Okorocha’s government even in the capacity of a cleaner.
So, there is no presence of either state or Federal Government in our community.
Do you think that this victimization is political?
I don’t think so because the House of Representatives member representing Ideato North/South Federal Constituency, Hon. Austine Chukwukere is in APC. That is one of the two House of Representatives that APC won in the whole of South-east zone. So, the reason cannot be political.
I think that he deliberately wanted to make us suffer. I am, therefore, using this opportunity to draw the attention of the Federal Government under the leadership of Muhammadu Buhari to as a matter of urgency look into the issue of erosion in Ideato North and South of Imo State.
A state of national emergency should be declared in this regard before it will take over the entire federal constituency.

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