Soludo steers the world to bring smiles to Okpoko inhabitants
The environmental decay in Okpoko, Anambra’s largest urban slum, is huge and poses existential threats to the inhabitants. Anambra State Governor Prof Chukwuma Soludo thinks that the place can still be revamped and made livable.
He is doing just that and steering the world to a desirable upgrading. Typically, he is shooting on all cylinders and the world is taking note.
True, hope is akin to the oxygen we need to live. On March 18, 2022, a day after being sworn in, Soludo alongside his deputy, Dr Onyekachukwu Ibezim, took a facility tour of Okpoko.
He rekindled the hope of Ndi Okpoko that a better life is still possible for the residents of the sprawling urban slum settlement.
Not withstanding their gloomy and grim conditions brought about by all manners of denudation, the men, women, boys and girls of Okpoko came out in large numbers showering praises for the governor for keeping his words.
Yes, Soludo came to have a feel of their situations, but more importantly, he came to wipe away their tears.
He would have gone straight to the reception ground to address the people. Instead, he chose to get to the heart of the slum to feel the offensive air, to see the uncleared refuse that constitute heath hazards; to monitor first hand the squalid conditions under which the residents live without amenities such as electricity, hospitals, accessible roads, etc., and to feel the battles they encounter daily with mosquitoes in addition to the associated disease burdens.
Okpoko will task the new government’s commitment to lifting the poor and vulnerable from the stranglehold of poverty. Many are looking forward to when Okpoko will become part of the livable and prosperous smart Anambra megacity project.
The good news is that the government is poised to turn things around for good for the residents. Even opposition politicians such as Senator Stella Oduah, having seen the wisdom and resolve of the government are cheering and pledging to join hands with government to ameliorate this social cause.
Truth is that the upgrading of Okpoko will not be a tea party especially with the lean resources available to government. It is our fervent hope that the federal government and international community will support the Anambra State Government in this noble cause.
Investigations have revealed that the surge in the population of the slum is attributable to the massive settlement of displaced families due to the insurgencies in the northern parts of Nigeria.
We are emboldened that Okpoko will be revamped with the assurance from Soludo that he will not celebrate until he brings the Smiles to the faces of Okpoko people. We believe him.
Be of good cheer!!
Joe C. Anatune