ODUKE Community Roads: The Worst in Asaba Capital Territory- Investigations(Photos)

… Community Leaders send SOS to DTSG on poor Road Networks.

… appealed to DTSG to rescue situation for the sake of Children, pupils and students and security

….. economic ativities in the Community destabilized.

…UN environmental agenda may be unrealizable as dirts menace and endemic flood assumed unreasonable dimensions.

By Victor Bieni

ASABA- Nimo Community popularly called “Oduke” is formerly a Nimo Camp Community owned by Umuaji People of Asaba in Oshimili South Local Government Area of Delta State was founded in the early18th Century over 250 years ago and was regarded as a typical Forest called Land reptiles such as Snakes and other dangerous Animals. The Community name was coined from it. The Community was formerly called called ODU- EKE or Nimo Camp now popularly called ODUKE in Asaba, the State capital.

Oduke Community Road Starts from the Benin-Onitsha Express Way down to more than ten to eleven other communities.

Investigations had it that the controversial 1.2km untarred ODUKE Road in Nimo Community is one of the best Road Networks in the Capital territory in Asaba that links other important Road Networks down to Achala- Ibusa and Ibusa Town in Oshimili North LGA of Delta State that is maintained, put in order, tarred by the State Government will open more economic doors for it’s Community people, Oshimili South LGA and Delta State in general. The Road Networks can also serve as an alternative to a means of accessing Ibusa Town and it’s environs through ODUKE.

ODUKE Road Network has notable Geo- graphical links with the following Road Networks in the State capital and other nearby Communities in areas such as Rain Oil filling Station, Federal College, Jarrett Community, Nnebisi Road, Cable Point Community, River Niger, Okwe Community, Odozi-Obodo Community (Formerly called Ihiala Camp), Jemok, MTN has an extension down share Boundaries with other nearby Communities in the Capital territory.

ODUKE Community Road Network moved down to a point where they have a clear cut boundary with Achala- Ibusa down to Ibusa town and Asaba main town cut off from Benin-Onitsha Express Way right opposite Federal College of Education (Technical), Asaba old site.

The worst Road in Asaba, Delta State Capital is just untarred 1.2km Road from the Benin-Onitsha Express way cut off by the express. The Road which was supposed to be a centre of attraction, civilization and development to the people of the community, but reverse is the case as it has turned out to be a dead trap, barricade to Community development despite the huge Community efforts by both the citizens.

A peaceful Community with huge
Industrial potential exploits, Zones, Sites and Commercial history is now becoming a centre of insecurity, environmental degradation, epidemic diseases, Educational backwardness, and other tragedy of immobility, and other basic amenities with electricity inclusive.

ODUKE is a community completely cut- off from civilization from the state capital. ODUKE is indeed a peaceful Community with huge
Potential industrial exploits, Zones, Sites and Commercial history is now becoming a centre of insecurity, environmental degradation, epidemic diseases, Educational backwardness, and other tragedy associated with lack of free movement of both humans and non- humans. The Community also lack other basic amenities such as hospital, good pipe born water and electricity inclusively in the state capital territory.

Oduke Community is blessed with huge population of not less than 10, 000 people. The Community has human capital and material resources. The Community no doubt has
relevant political and geographical demarcation that is worthy to be an Autonomous Community and a political ward of it’s own.

The Community is well structured in terms geographical location, topographical settings, ready to be harnessed in a full fledged urbanized Community with enviable Industrial sites.

The best land for Agriculture, good arable land , huge natural resources yet untapped. No doubt, this is the only Community in the State capital you can boast of an industrial estates. This is because industries, factories, schools, Churches, and other agencies and businesses that promotes economic growth and development are located there.

The Advent of the new administration of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa starting from 2015 till 2019 is s huge blessing to Asaba, the State Capital as the Governor upon resumption of duty set up an Agency called Asaba Capital City Development Agency as backed up by the State House of Assembly laws to promote effective and efficient development of some critical areas in the capital territory. No doubt, this initiative of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa was not thought of by the previous administrations. This might be one of the reasons that delayed the development and long time partnership of the Community with the state government that according to the affirmation of some of the Community Leaders interviewed couldn’t yield any meaningful results.

The people having made some efforts as a Community to safe the situation but to no avail is appealing to Delta State Government under the Leadership of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to take the development of the area very seriously towards the actualization of the main objectives of establishing the Agency as ODUKE Community is now facing some critical development challenges.

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This situation has become imperative as both traditional and religious priests in the area now swim in erosion, flood, Children are now victims of the menace of environmental hazards, Women are now victims of rape and armed banditry in the area, Youths are being taken captive by endemic diseases, and elderly die countlessly and other environmental hazards, industries and economic loss, job loss and unemployment as well as farmers now cry for fear of flood menace.

Our reporter visited the Community to ascertain the level of damages-human, environmental, economic and Socio-cultural as caused by the poor Road Networks had on the citizens therein. The aftermath of the discovery was very worrisome to the press. Though there were several records of Community efforts and several other initiatives that proved to our reporter that the situation needs urgent Government attention as the Community efforts proved to be abortive.

Although we are approaching dry season not in raining season but the area is yet unaccessable by both living and non living things. That is even in times of dry season not raining season the Community people hardly go out to fend for themselves as the flood endemic problems usually take over their homes, farmlands, businesses, schools, churches some other investment grounds making them very uncomfortable.

The period of dry season is not exemption as people still experience the same ugly trend in their surroundings despite the season. The roads are always impassable by both humans and vehicles. The produced goods and services and industrial raw materials are sometimes trapped on their way, off-loaded at a distance location by factory, Industry workers, customers to the companies find it difficult to make order, purchase and move their goods and services from the area of production to area of consumption or the final consumers.

A Community Leader, the immediate past Chairman of Oduke Community, Pastor Obierika Michael, a farmer and industrialist told our reporter that the Community had in the past and present made efforts to ameliorate the situation by using various concerns to safe the situation and possible solutions for the menace.

Therefore upon investigations our reporter discovered that the first time the State Government was to come to their aid to get the 1.2km Road tarred for them was later short changed after all the efforts made to bring the matter to the Governor’s table by using some Stakeholders major political players very close to the corridors of power in the previous administrations.

According to some notable Community Leaders in ODUKE, the immediate past Chairman of DUKE Community and his secretary as well as the present Chairman of the Community who told our reporter that the recent times Delta State Government was to intervene towards tarring of the Roads, later became a mirage as the 1.2km Road was not attended to. That the work was supposed to start from the controversial UCHE WEMBE WAY, right opposite Federal College Junction by Benin-Onitsha Express Way, which is the heart of the capital territory down to other nearby Communities in the locality but it was cut off and others were done by taking it to a triangular points where the Community was entirely thrown out of civilization.

He further disclosed that though though the community is very close to the state capital but very far from civilization. According to him that they have nothing in common with the people of Okwe. Pastor Obierika who is redeem Christian Church of God clergyman noted that the population of Oduke is five times that of Okwe Community.

He added that their community is politically relevant but the credit is always given to Okwe. He lamented that as the erstwhile Chairman of the community he teamed up with his Executives and other stakeholders in therein and approached some political stakeholders during the regime of Chief James Ibori, and that of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan by partnering and writing to the Government intimating them on the challenges of the community but no positive results yielded.

In the words of the Community Leaders, elders: ” The result on the pressure we mounted on the government then made the government to only made a move and tarred from Jemok Water to ST Judes cutting off Oduke Road right opposite Federal College, that is Sunny Odogwu Industry (SIO), the Road to the heart of the community which we wanted our Road inclusively as indeed really the yawnings of our Community people, citizens to have our 1.2km Roads tarred.”

They applauded the Government of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on his efforts towards the development of Capital territory.

The present Chairman of ODUKE Community then appealed to the Governor to come to the aid of the community by not only grading the Road for them but ensure that the tarring of the Road is done to open doors for other sustainable development in the area.

Pastor Obierika stated further that the community through usually community efforts had spent thousands of naira in purchase of Laterite, sands, concrete and others for Road maintenance, repairs and others but to no avail. That the Community is also contributing its quarters for the Local Government and the State in terms of IGR contributions.He further disclosed that though though the community is very close to the state capital but very far from civilization.

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Community stakeholders stated further that Government should development their area separately from other Communities in the capital territory, adding that they have nothing in common with the people from the nearby Communities.

Pastor Obierika who is a redeem Christian Church of God clergy noted that the population of ODUKE Community is five times bigger than all the nearby Communities in the area with huge political relevance in Oshimili South LGA. He added that their community is politically relevant but the credit is always given to the nearby Communities.

He lamented that as the erstwhile Chairman of the community he teamed up with his Executives and other stakeholders therein and approached some political stakeholders during the regime of Chief James Ibori, and that of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan by partnering and writing to the Government intimating them on the challenges of the community but the results were not made positive.

” The pressure we mounted on the government then made the government to only made a move and tarred from Jemok Water to ST Judes cutting off Oduke Road right opposite Federal College, that is Sunny Odogwu Industry (SIO), the Road to the heart of the community which I’d really the yawning of the people, Citizens community efforts had spent thousands of naira in purchase of Laterite”, Michael, a Community Leader Stated.

Further investigations by our reporter revealed that the community is blessed and can boast of not less than 20 different Nursery, Primary and Secondary schools, and about 30 Churches, and industrial estate, moribund or defunt SIO industry factories and gas plant. The Yourhs, Women and elders are peaceful people.

Most of the religious Leaders in the area are making frantic efforts to save the situation both those in the Roman Catholic Church. Rev . Fr. Tony Umeanadu now transfered and the present Rev . Fr. Peter Ndenwa and other Community stakeholders pushing to get results and safe the situation by addressing the challenges with the use of , puchases of Laterite, Sands, concrete and some other materials for Road maintenance, repairs and others but to no avail.

Rev. Fr. Peter Ndenwa who is currently the pastoring in Blessed Micheal Iwene Tansi Catholic Church, ODUKE in an interview with our reporter Commended the administration of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on the massive Roads Construction in the three Senatorial Districts of the State. The Reverend Father also commended the Governor’s initiative on the establishment of Capital territory development Agency towards ensuring that Asaba and environs gets face lift for greater civilization, urbanization and cleaner environment.

He then called on Delta State Government to come to the aid of ODUKE Community by not only grading the Roads but tarring them for citizens in the area to witness Government presence.

He further affirmed that though he is new in the area but had observed that the people are entirely peaceful and has the capacity or had contributed to both taxable and property rates of the Local and State Government thereby contributing their quota to the Internally Generated Revenue.

A Community Leader, the present Chairman of Nimo Community popularly called ODUKE, Christopher Okoh who doubled as an industrialist, Community elder, and one of the ODUKE Community noted that before he emerged and after his emergence as the Chairman that he had fought like a wounded lion to ensure that the Roads come to normalcy. He affirmed that as part of the Community efforts that about 100 trips of sands had been expended, used without adequate results.

One of the Community elders who doubled as the Aku Naedozi one of Aboh Kingdom, Chief Sunday Wilson told our reporter that the Community had in the past and at present contributed to the electoral successes of political office holders in Oshimili South and Delta State. According to him though that the Community had no political ward of its own but had all it takes to be a political ward of its own. That is, that its population figure and other electoral results being produced by the Community, that the glory is being taken by other nearby Communities.

Rev Fr. Ndenwa a presiding priest in Catholic Church, one of Churches in the Community, ODUKE, and one of his colleagues, Rev. Fr. Ignatius Ofor, who is a visitor in the area told our correspondent that stated further that one of his major concern is the plight being suffered by both pupils and students in the locality, Community who are at a very risky situations in terms of the negative effects of flood and other natural disasters, adding that atimes as he witnessed some of them hard go to school because of bad Roads in that domain.

A Youth Leader, who gave his name is Mr Chuks in ODUKE Community, and one of the Woman Leaders in the Community, Mrs Lovelyn Okorie told our reporter that the Community has numerous challenges apart from Road Networks, that electricity and Security are other setbacks that her People are facing in the Community, therefore call on the State Government to come to their rescue.

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Some of the youths, Women and elders, priests, and industrial owners, Directors were also Interviewed in the community
to ascertain their efforts and that of Government towards the development of the community stated that they tired of repairing the Road popularly called UCHE WEMBE WAY and its environs is an eye sore in the state capital.

The Youth and Women Leaders then appealed to the State Government, Ministry of Works, Waste Management Board, Ministry of environment, Delta State Capiral territory Development Agency, the media and other critical stakeholders not to distance themselves from the area as a result of the ugly trend that and any other belief as the case may be.

The refuse dumped around the area yet to be evacuated is an eye sore as the poor Road Networks is being taking as an excuse, the refuse area is located besides the Defunct SIO Industry.

To this end the Community therefore called on the Government to as matter urgency find lasting solutions to the menace for cleaner environment in the locality as the refuse dump site is not being done intentionally knowing the implications on their general health being. The refuse dump site is the handiwork of ODUKE people and other nearby communities within that geographical entity. The huge tones and mighty heep of refuse dumped in the Community can now be taken as a situation ethics when we take it from the angle of the law as both the Community people and Government people lack access Roads to evacuate them owing to impassable roads.

This ugly trend as investigated may worsened the situation in terms of achieving the United Nations Agenda on a cleaner environment and resilient city as the menace has becomes an excuse for the Community people and the Government environmental officials in the State capital territory.

The Director, Cobon industrial estate in Nimo Community, Oduke Mr. Christian Nwobodo Lamented the state of the Roads appealing to the Governments to come to their aid.

He noted that Cobon Industrial estates are manufacturers of plastics, nylon and recycling of nylon.

He stated that the ugly situation had greatly reduced their production volumes and that workers no longer endure the heat because of the ugly trend therefore had thrown the youths in the area into a state of unemployment.

The Director, Cobon industrial estate, Nimo Community, Oduke, Mr. Christian Nwobodo and a Community Leader, former Secretary to Pastor Obierika, the erstwhile Chairman of the Community, Rev Dr. Paulinus Nnabuife Stated some of the efforts made to restore the Roads as well. The poor Community Road Networks in contention, popularly called “Uche Wembe Way” and its environs is an eye sore in the state capital.

They therefore call on Government to come to their aid for sustainable Roads Network and towards cleaner environment for economic development of the area.

Ministry of environment, Capital territory, the media had distance themselves from the area after several attempt to bringing the menace to the public for possible solutions from the Government of the day.

According to the Community leaders, ” DBS, NTA and other notable media organizations had visited to support their quest for a greater liberation, but they are yet to get results. That the media is even tired of coming because it appears the ugly trend is no longer palatable to them. The bad Road is tough for them as the people may fall victim of diseases or playground accident and other impendind dangers inherent therein.

Christian Nwobodo Lamented the state of the Roads appealing to the Governments to come to their aid. Cobon Industrial estate are manufacturers of plastics, nylon and recycling of nylon stated that the ugly situation had greatly reduced their production volume, led to job loss and possibly unemployment amongst some of the youths who ones indicated interest to work to support themselves.

He said that some of his factory workers left because they can no longer endure the poor road networks, bringing in goods and services in the company and some of raw materials produced yet to be produced and finished goods is a very difficult thing for them as a result of the poor Road Networks in UCHE WEMBE WAY in ODUKE Community, Oshimili South LGA of Delta located at the heart of the capital territory.

Cobon Director said that there is a transportation barrier being faced by the Industrial estate as the workers struggle continuously to bring in goods and services from far distance, customers and employees of his factory are no longer comfortable with the Road network, The Road popularly called Uche Wembe Way and its environs is an eye sore in the state capital.

Ministry of environment, Capital territory, the media had distance themselves from the area as a result of the ugly trend as the people may fall victim of diseases or playground accident and other impendind danger to be employed now leave because of the ugly trend therefore throwing them into a state of unemployment.

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