Imo appeals to FG to tackle gully erosion, bad roads



…Introduces new vehicle number plate

IMO State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has sought the intervention of the Federal Government on gully erosion ravaging the Nekede community as well as other natural disasters in 27 Local councils of the state.

Okorocha made the appeal on Tuesday when he paid unscheduled visit to the gully erosion site. The impact of the uncontrolled soil erosion had cut the only access road from Owerri Municipal to the ancient communities in Owerri West Local Council. The governor stressed that the menace was beyond what the state government could manage.

The Guardian gathered that the disaster, which started in 2012 as a small hole, escalated to the level of threatening many houses owned by retired and serving government officials. The gully erosion is also advancing towards the state-owned five -star Concorde Hotel, subsequent to the destruction of the underground tunnel.

House owners within the area now live in fear, as they plan to desert their homes. The menace was first blamed on sand excavators, who dig up the area for economic reasons, but Okorocha urged the Federal Government to hasten construction and complete the Owerri-Port Harcourt Express Road.

He regretted that it now takes about six hours, rather than 45 minutes, to travel from Owerri to Port Harcourt due to the bad road network, which construction was almost abandoned.

He appealed to the people of Nekede and Umuapu, Ohaji /Egbema Local Council to be calm while he continues to appeal to the Federal Government for urgent intervention. Okorocha regretted that commercial and economic activities were disrupted in the affected areas.

He said: “We urge the Federal Government to come to the aid of suffering Nigerians. The Port Harcourt Road is in terrible shape. A distance of about 45 minutes drive before, takes six hours now. I still want to appeal that the Federal Government should come to the aid of the suffering people of Imo.”

TO guard against criminality, Okorocha also unveiled a new vehicle number plate for the officials of Government House, directing law enforcement agencies to arrest anyone driving with the old number.

The governor directed security operatives to arrest unauthorised users of siren and tinted-glass vehicles.

Okorocha who performed the ceremony at the Government House after the state’s weekly Security Council meeting, regretted the rate of insecurity and expressed the optimism that the new vehicle number plate for the Government House would solve a lot of problems.

Said he: “In order to bring about sanity in the system which has been our constitutional mandate, we have introduced the new Government House plate number.”

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