By Dennis Agbo and Ejiofor Ugwu
THE people of Umuokoro Autonomous Community of Inyi in Igboeze North Local Government Area of Enugu State have asked the state government to come to their aid by providing them with basic social amenities.
The Traditional Prime Minister of the community, Chief Godwin Ogbonna, who spoke in an interview with South East Voice said that he had not experienced electricity in his community over 54 years of existence on earth, just as there were no access roads or potable water in the area.
Ogonna spoke about lack of democracy dividends in the border community between Benue and Enugu States against the backdrop of reports that kidnappers were using the area as safe haven for detention of kidnap victims due to a lack of modernity in the area.
On electricity, Ogbonna lamented that since his community had not enjoyed electricity power supply even as some efforts were made about five years ago towards providing power but was later abandoned.
According to him, the community got two transformers but only one was installed while the other was kept at the community’s church parish house. He stressed that the installed transformer was yet to be connected to national grid while some electric poles fixed with high tension wires before being abandoned.
“We see high tension wires pass through our community but none was stepped down for our usage. The appalling dimension to this entire electricity saga is that the high tension cables that supplies electric power to our neighbouring communities passed through Umuokoro.
“While they are enjoying electricity supply, Umuokoro community is in darkness.
“We have no portable water for drinking and other domestic purposes in Umuokoro. The community’s source of water now is Ogene, a big pond dug and prepared to collect flowing water during rainy season.
“The red Ogene water either gets dried once the rainy season is over or is exhausted through usage by the people of the community, but the economic burden of maintaining the Ogene is excruciating on the people as every year, youths in the community spend several hours clearing the trenches of debris while the women provided drums of palm oil for coating to enable it hold water once the rains start falling,” Ogbonna further said.
Meanwhile, the Senator representing Enugu North in the National Assembly, Sen Chuka Utazi, was said to have cited a bore hole in the community as part of his community projects but Ogbonna said that although laudable, the action was like a drop in the ocean as most part of the community made of four clans would not benefit from the project.
One Mr Lambert, an indigene of the community, also decried the suffering they faced due to lack of potable water supply, electricity and access roads.