Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo has landed in Okpoko, a suburb in Ogbaru Local Government Area of the state to commence project as he promised.
Soludo, who arrived at about 10 am on Friday went round various areas inspecting the level of work to be carried out as part of his first assignments as governor.
Recall, the governor during his campaign and inaugural address, said his administration will kickstart his work in Okpoko.
He expressed dissatisfaction with the level of decadence in Okpoko, promises to begin work immediately.
Traders, who used to display their wares on major roads, thereby causing gridlock around the area, removed their wares and the roads became clear for the smooth passage of the governor’s convoy.
Soludo, who arrived in the company of his deputy and others went round the various communities, expressed dissatisfaction with the level of decadence in Okpoko and promised to sanitise the place. He said works would begin in the area immediately.
Although, ahead of the visit, street sweepers who had, for some days now, abandoned their duty, were seen clearing the roads and drainages in Upper Iweka and Okpoko environs.
But the mountainous heaps of refuse, which adorned major roads in the area, could not be hidden from the governor as he expressed deep worry on sighting them.
The governor expressed dissatisfaction with the level of decadence in Okpoko and promised to sanitise the place. He said works would begin in the area immediately.
He noted that since the area had been accepted as the weakest link and the most densely populated area in the state, he had no option, but to begin his administration’s projects from there.
The former CBN boss said the clarification had become necessary after he received several reports on why he made the area his first priority.
The governor noted that the people of Okpoko needed more attention than any part of the state at the moment.
Soludo, who addressed the community leaders and members at the St. Lwanga Catholic Church, Okpoko, after visiting other areas, spoke in Igbo language.
He said, “Ụmụnnem, ife dị na Okpoko; the genius, the unemployed and the criminal. The challenge before us is to decide whether to continue ruing the ugly situation or turn the flipside that will provide us enormous opportunities for the development of our Homeland.
“Okpoko is the largest Urban slum in Anambra State. Therefore, we have to begin our urban renewal effort from our weakest link. Like my now 16-year-old daughter once asked me when she was just 14, “it is not enough to wish change or show the will to cause a change. How are you sure, Daddy, that the people themselves want to change?”
“Of course, this is not so easy a question to be answered without far-reaching consultation with the people. So far, the people of Okpoko and residents, from Ndikpa to East Niger, are more in a hurry for a change than we can ever be.
“That trip I made in 2009 to Okpoko where I was accosted by a little boy, who raced towards me and audaciously demanded, “Soludo nyem ego” still occupies a better part of my memory. That boy and millions like him need much more than money. They need a life. May God help us!”
While tasking the people to remain responsible citizens by paying their tax and engaging in other civic duties, the governor states categorically, that the issue of touts and illegal collection of levies and taxes has come to an end in the state.