From CHRIS AGUNWEZE
The people of Idu in Ogba /Egbema Ndoni Local Government area [Onelga] of Rivers State are crying out calling on the state Governor Rt. Hon.Chibuike Amaechi and President Goodluck Jonathan to come to their rescue, saying that they have been abandoned by their representatives and government agencies after flood devastated their community. Idu, a coastal community of the Orashi river with about 3,000 people were among the first communities to go under water as flood invaded the state
The people now displaced by the flood and scattered to other communities lamented th at they have been clearly forgotten by their representatives in various arm of government and other government agencies saddled with the responsibilities to carter for flood victims in the state.
They were disturbed that their representative in all the legislative arms of state and federal governments disappointed them. Gift Nwokeocha in the state assembly representing Onelga Constituency 2, Asipa Honourable representing Onelga–Ahoda East Federal Consistency and Senator Wilson Ake representing Rivers West, according to them, did not visit Idu to see the extent of devastation the flood caused. “We have been grossly neglected and abandoned to our fate by those who are supposed to come to our aid,” Chief Elijah Eluozo Ezeudo, lamented.
“Our farm lands were the first to be swallowed by the flood and we were forced to harvest our crops prematurely”. The people were still mourning the loss of their crops and thinking how they will cope with hunger when one day at the deep of the night families woke up and saw themselves deep inside water in their living rooms.
The following morning there was great confusion and anxiety and that was how our people began to evacuate the town to become refugees in neighboring villages.” One of the victims of the Idu flood Izidor Ikeagwu who said that his house and every property in it was one of the early houses to go under water, collaborating Eze udo’s story said that the flood advanced steadily and finally the entire Idu community submerged.
“As I speak to you now it is difficult to separate greater portion of the community from Orashi river” Comrade Emeka Agilar a company worker who said that his two houses he built newly went under, told the Daily Sun that Idu was half under water for several days , before it finally submerged , he complained bitterly that within the period the agencies that were created to handle such emergencies did not show any concern to them but they went to other neighboring communities flooding there were not as big as that of Idu. Eze Zik Emmanuel and Chika Monday who said they lost everything they labored for since their youth to the flood, also expressed disappointment that government agencies like the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Presidential Committee on Disaster turned their back on Idu after visiting neighboring communities despite the magnitude of the flood and its devastating effect in Idu.
“We were so ignored because we have nobody in government,” Zik said. “But we heard that Sun Newspaper is the voice of the voiceless. We are appealing to you to take our plight to the state governor Chibuike Amaechi and Presidsent Goodluck Jonathan.”
But the most radical comments came from the youths of the community who were very angry that the senate committee in charge of environment and national disaster lead by Sen. Olusola Bukola Saraki were in Rivers and visited the local government but according to them were diverted from Idu.. They said that such gesture was a systematic step to undermine Idu when compensation will be paid. The youths who said that Idu have a good number of oil wells contributing to the nation’s economy accused some multinational oil companies operating in the area of total neglect.
According to them those multinationals did not show any sign of commitment when the flood devastated Idu their host community. “The worried youths called on NEMA , the state committee on flood lead by deputy governor Tele Ikuru and the National Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation lead by Aliku Dangote to visit Idu and see where flood caused real havoc.