…As Kwara Communities cry out: ‘We are in darkness!’***
Anambra State Association of Town Unions (ASATU) on Tuesday expressed serious concern over what it called dumping of strange people on the community, stressing that it does not see it as a child’s play.
Chief Alex Onukwue, the National President of the Association, made the observation when he briefed newsmen after an emergency meeting of the union.
“Leaders of communities in Anambra, operating under the aegis of ASATU are worried over the ‘shipment of strange persons’ from some parts of the country to the southeast geopolitical zone”, Chief Onukwue stated, warning that the gesture could also fuel the renewed spread of Coronavirus.
Onukwue said that there was no discussion with any person that the zone was in need of strangers to come and live within its territory and considered such action as `a security breach’.
“It is unlawful for some ‘desperate persons’ in the country to hide some youth in-between animals or goods in trucks and move them to the South East at a time the country was grappling with the COVID-19 challenges.
“We want to know if the security operatives placed to man the borders across the country were asleep when such heinous act was done against the people of eastern zone,” he said.
Onukwue said that the act was already generating tension and fear in the region and posed security risks to the people and appealed to the right authority to act swiftly.
“ASATU, on behalf of all the communities of Anambra wish to express its disgust and total disappointment with the ongoing unlawful efforts by some desperate citizens of the country who now engage in the illegal act of moving strange persons to the South of the country, South East inclusive.
“It is no longer news that in recent weeks, truckloads of persons who may be carriers of COVID-19 have been intercepted by security operatives in various parts of the South East – Enugu, Abia, Anambra among others.
“Just on Monday, May 18, a truck with registration number MDR 148 XA was intercepted here in Awka loaded with no fewer than 33 persons going to Onitsha.
“This is completely unacceptable to Anambra people and the rest of the South East and it should stop forthwith,” he said.
“ASATU warns that if the trend was not stopped immediately, the people of Anambra and the South East, in general, will have to “confront the situation with the seriousness it deserves.
“Whoever that was behind this unlawful act should refrain from doing so immediately as communities in Anambra can no longer fold their hands and watch as our lives are being threatened,” he said.
Onukwue described the act of some unpatriotic citizens who go as far as hiding human beings between animals and bags of cement and smuggle them down to Anambra and the South East as condemnable.
“We wish to warn that should this callous business of shipping strange persons continue, in the light of COVID-19 restrictions, we will be left with no choice than to confront the situation with the seriousness it deserves.
“We can no longer take it as child’s play,” he said.
In the meantime, the residents of Ogidi ward in Ilorin West Local Government Area of Kwara have cried out to the State Government to rescue them from perennial darkness occasioned by faulty transformer servicing three communities in the area.
The residents made the call in a statement issued on Tuesday in Ilorin, signed by Alhaji Baba Malu and Alhaji Abdulkharim Dende, Joint Chairmen of Alawo, Ajibesin and Olayeri communities.
According to the statement, there is only one transformer providing electricity to the three communities.
They said the population of the three communities has grown over the years, hence the lone transformer cannot cope with the load.
The chairmen recalled that in January 2020, they wrote a letter to Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq urging him to come to their aid by giving them two more transformers for the area.
Dende said in Olayeri community, there were over 5,000 inhabitants with over 1,500 completed houses and over 500 under one stage of completion or other.
“The old age of the existing transformer coupled with the noticeable expansion of the buildings and increasing population of the area has put the three communities into constant darkness,” they said.
According to them, the appeal to the governor for two more transformers will cushion the effect of overloading on the only available transformer serving the three communities.
They said that the constant power failure in the area was having a toll on their socio-economic activities, particularly on the artisans amongst them.
“This is why we, on behalf of the entire communities, are crying out to Gov. AbdulRazaq to come to our rescue and give us transformers in our area.
“If the governor accedes to our request, it will go a long way to reawaken the socio-economic activities of the hitherto sleeping community as a result of the darkness we are now,” they added.
Reacting to the development, the Communication Officer of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (lBEDC), Mr Asaju Kolawole, said the company was not yet aware of the electricity problems confronting the communities.
The lBEDC spokesman advised the affected communities to formally write a letter to the company with a view to restoring normal electricity supply to them.