Come, Help Us Stop Erosion from Ravaging Abia Communities, Otti Tells NDDC
Govt Already Asked Residents of Affected Communities to Vacate Homes
Apparently overwhelmed by the numerous erosion sites ravaging some parts of Abia State, Governor Alex Otti has sent a save our soul(S.O.S) message to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) asking for assistance to fight the menace..
The Abia governor put across the urgent message to the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the NDDC, Dr. Sam Ogbuku, when he paid him a working visit in company with some directors of the Commission.
According to a press release issued weekend by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Kazie Uko, Otti also urged NDDC to complete all its abandoned projects in Abia.
Ogbuku had told the governor that he was in Abia with his team for the inauguration of the Aqua Culture Training Centre in Umuahia on Friday, October 27 and found it necessary to visit him.
While he thanked the NDDC boss and his delegation for the courtesy visit, Otti also felicitated Ogbuku on his appointment and subsequent confirmation to preside over the affairs of the interventionist agency.
Otti specifically used the opportunity to draw the attention of the CEO of NDDC to some of its projects in Abia that were left uncompleted, adding that many parts of the state are still at the mercy of erosion menace.
“In Abia we have a lot of challenges,” said Otti. “The major ones are in few places like Aba, Umuahia, Isuikwuato and Umunneochi area – erosion”.
He cited the case of the erosion site at Ovom community in Aba, which cut a road into two, creating massive gully thereby collapsing buildings in the area.
The Abia governor said that he had on Thursday, October 26, issued an ultimatum for the residents of the erosion ravaged area to vacuate their homes for safety.
He explained that things were getting worse “because every day we are losing the road”, adding that “we would approach (NDDC), if it is possible, to ssist us in dealing with the problem
On the NDDC abandoned projects, Otti noted that lack of funding stalled the projects, citing one of them close to his country home, which, according to him, had reached 40 percent completion before “somewhere along the line, funding ceased”.
He pointed out that if the abandoned projects were left uncompleted, “all the works that had been done (by NDDC) would amount to waste.
The Abia chief executive mentioned to the NDDC team the other projects in Aba, Arochukwu and Umuahia North Local Governments that were all abandoned as a result of the contractors being owed.
Nonetheless, Otti acknowledged the interventions that the NDDC have made in Abia, noting that though the state may not have gotten all it desired from the agency, it has every reason to be very grateful.
“If we take away the projects that had been undertaken by the NDDC, we would also realise that we would have been several years backward,” he said.