For Old Aguata Union, the occasion of a fanfare and the thrills of an annual lecture was also an occasion to remember a sad point of their existence caused by erosion, reports people Raymond Ozoji in Awka reports
The Old Aguata Union comprising Orumba-North , Orumba- South and Aguata local government areas of Anambra State seized on the chance of the presence of the state governor Willie Obiano at their annual lecture to solicit his assistance. The challenge was the ecological disaster looming in the region. They therefore unanimously appealed to the state governor him to declare the region a disaster area so as to frontally tackle ecological problems caused by erosion in the area. The union made the passionate appeal during her annual fanfare and lecture at Marble Arc hotel Awka recently.
Responding Governor Willie Obiano who represented on the occasion by the Secretary to the State Government Professor Solo Chukwulobelu, assured the people of the Old Aguata Union that the administration will continue to have an eye for situation of things in the region. Governor Obiano said that already the region has four commissioners and a host of others in his cabinet coupled with other infrastructure like hospitals sited in the region. He however assured them that the issue of ecological problems in the area would soon be a thing of the past as government was passionate about the situation and would address it head-on.
Moreover, the state commissioner for health Dr. Joe Akabuike who hails from Nanka in Orumba-North local government area took cognizance of the fact that erosion is a serious environmental crisis in the old Aguata area but the state governor according to him is on top of the situation, adding that the governor’s visitations and interventions in erosion-prone areas in the state speaks volume of his passion and concern over the situation. According to Akabuike his Nanka community has gone a step further to control and prevent erosion in the area through planting of cash crops and other community self-help schemes.
Old Aguata local government area was divided into three local government areas from whence Orumba- North and South emanated from but due to the bond that held the people together they refused to be split. This is the remote reason why Old Aguata Union was formed to further The UNION Features sustain as well as strengthen the bond that held the communities and villages together in the old Aguata prior to the creation of more states and local government areas in the country.
To this end Chief Barr. John Chukwuwike Asoegwu-Nwikpo who is the chairman of the Awka chapter of OAU and chief host of the annual new yam festival and funfare ; while presenting an address on the occasion said there is an urgent need to declare old Aguata an emergency area due to environmental crisis . Erosion menace according to him is the major problem of development in the old Aguata . Barr. Asoegwu-Nwikpo believes that a proactive response to the disaster situation in the area will go a long way to wipe sorrow away from the faces of community dwellers in the area. Erosion in the old Aguata region has resulted in the dearth of roads and other infrastructure integral to sustainable development in the region. He further revealed that the Old Aguata Union was established to foster as well as project the culture and economic endeavours of old Aguata people but natural disasters like erosion has done more harm than good to the region.
Despite the sorry situation in the old Aguata , Arc. Michael Okonkwo the managing director and chief executive officer of the Awka Capital Territory Development Authority, who is a native of the region said there is hope for the people and communities in the old Aguata region in the sense that the government of Governor Willie Obiano is doing everything humanly possible to put issues of erosion menace to rest in the region . Arc. Okonkwo said he established diaspora chapters of OAU in New York , New Jersy, Pensilvania and some other states in the United States of America with a view to championing the development of their brothers and sisters at home because according to him they all share the same aspiration which is to strengthen the ones coming behind so as to ensure continuity in development in the Old Aguata Union .
For the provost of the Nwafor Orizu College of Education Nsugbe Anambra-east local government area Dr. Cordelia Ego Uzoezie the idea of the Old Aguata Union evokes feelings of brotherhood and unity in diversity. Uzoezie who is a native of the current Aguata local government area maintained that the 2015 edition of the annual programme of the union is worthwhile as it provides a forum for them to share ideas and brainstorm on the things that would move the union forward. She was of the opinion that other regions in the state should emulate the Old Aguata Union as the union blazes the trail in upholding unity of purpose, oneness and togetherness. She also called on relevant authorities in the state and at the federal level to come to the aid of the old Aguata people by helping to address environmental problems in the region.
Prior to the festival, a technical session was held on the same day during which an erudite scholar Professor Ben Osisioma gave a lecture on Entrepreneurship. He said that the core of entrepreneurship is finding out opportunities stressing that an entrepreneur is persistent and dogged as well as open to change in the pursuit of his activities.
For Edo State Police Commissioner, CP Chris Ezike who hails from Ogboji in Orumba, Governor Willie Obiano is passionate about dealing with the erosion menace in the old Aguata region and Anambra at large . CP Ezike maintained that all hands must be on deck to salvage the situation as government was faced with issues of dwindling resources, stressing that a landslide is not any alternative to contemplate because it was as dangerous as extermination itself.