A group of Imo youths under the auspices of Global Association of Concerned Imo Youth (GACIY) on Sunday blamed the former governor of the state, Rochas Okorocha, for massive floods that submerged houses in some parts of the state.
The group said,”the problem became worse in Imo following the series of demolitions, road expansion works and technical errors/or incompetence on the part of the Government from 2011 to 2019, leading to destruction of flood control mechanisms across the state capital.”
In a statement issued by the Convener of GACIY, Sir Collins Ughalaa said, “We acknowledge the fact that government is a continuum. The state government led by Governor Hope Uzodimma acknowledges this fact as well. This can be seen by the novel approach the Government is adopting to holistically tackle the challenge.”
GACIY said in August 2019, media reports indicated that thousands of people were displaced and houses submerged in floodwater in communities in Oguta LGA, Ohaji/Egbema LGA and Owerri.
According to the group, “The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) put the figure of the displaced people in Orsu Obodo alone at 2,000, and that 70 houses were submerged by the flood.
“The impressive flood control works going on in Owerri, especially the novel Balloon Technology with four collection centres at Dick-Tiger, MCC/Chukwuma Nwaoha, Trans-Egbu and Mbaise Road Park, is commendable.
“The recent flooding witnessed in some parts of Owerri was therefore as a result of ongoing construction works, which the Government is addressing urgently. Government has also commenced another round of de-silting the drainage and would soon address the menace of flooding in Akwakuma and other areas.
“Imo people, we need not see the challenge of flooding as a political problem. It is a natural disaster that spares no nation, state or political party. Flooding is no respecter of developed nations, it is no respecter of underdeveloped nations either.
“The challenge of flooding will not go away with a wave of the hand. Government will do a lot to address it. Understanding this will not only help us plan better, it will as well equip us to respond better in such times.
“We can be patient with the Government, because construction work takes time. As it is, the Government is adequately addressing the problem. With the paucity of funds, the government is juggling a lot of competing responsibilities to address the challenge, because flooding could be life threatening. That is why the Government has prioritized it.
“We are Imo people and we love our state. We should not allow bitter politicians to drive us crazy with false claims and false alarms. Government is working. And the flooding we see today in some parts of Owerri, we shall see them no more.”