Friday, February 5, 2016 1:02 pm
Residents of Benin City, Edo State, yesterday, told Governor Adams Oshiomhole how the state suffered infrastructurally under the Peoples Democratic Party Government from 1999 to 2008.
Some of the residents of Ewah Street in Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area who showered praises on Governor Oshiomhole during his inspection of the storm water project in the area said the project will completely end the flooding problem in their area.
A resident, Mr. Godwin Tom Osunde who thanked the Governor for the project and prayed for his elevation said: “I am a common man and I know where it pains me. I am more than 65 years now but I have never seen a governor like you.
“Look at the 2nd East Circular Road, since I was born, nobody, no government has ever remembered the 2nd East Circular. Those people talking are just talking in their own pocket, they are noise makers; they share money for people to do evil, but you stood steadfast to help the masses. The sky will be your limit and you will live to inherit your inheritance, and please, bring somebody that will continue with your work by the time you are leaving.”
Also, Mr. Bello Ogbemudia, another resident said: “you are the best Governor we have ever had. We can see what you have done, we appreciate, sir. This area had almost turned to a moat but with your instruction that this area should be done, it is a different story altogether today. We pray that whoever you bring out after your tenure will do even better than you have done and we will give him our maximum support.
“Under PDP, we didn’t experience all these things; we were suffering, but today we are happy. We are seeing the good things that our good Governor is doing and we are very much happy.”
In the Upper Lawani area of the state, a resident of the area, Mrs. Janet Agbonze who said she had suffered the impact of flooding for over twenty years said: “water entered my house in April last year and I had no one to help me. Then I heard you were coming to repair this road and thank God, today, you have remembered us in this area. You have done so much for us, and as you have remembered us, so will God remember you.”
The Governor, in his response said promised that the government would do more work on the storm water project, especially this dry season. He said: “as we are in the dry season now, we want to quickly rush and do some work on this drainage. Because there was no drainage before now, the flood coming from Okhoro through this area wasn’t properly channeled, and it led to the destruction of houses, most persons fled and abandoned their houses and some even died in the past.
“That is why we decided to do the work and the last time we did it up to the bridge and everybody said we had to continue with the job. With the rains, we couldn’t continue and I did say we will continue once the dry season comes and you can see how the drainage is now. The width of that drainage is 8 metres, which is about 26 feet wide and 2.5 meters high, which is about 8 feet high. What this means is that no matter the quantity of flood water that passes through this environ, the inhabitants of this area need not fear anymore. The water will pass through the drainage to the river.
“By God’s grace, we will continue to work. When I see you gathered like this, singing and rejoicing, I am happy. In this government job, the only thing that will remain is the work that you did when you were here. You hear some persons complaining ‘why is comrade doing this, why is comrade doing that?’ They are even angry that we are building the Central Hospital.”
He said: “When good people are rejoicing, the bad people must cry. When I see PDP crying, saying, ‘why is Comrade building drains?’ In four years, they couldn’t build even one gutter. In fact, one of them that said he wants to be Governor even queried the location of the hospital we are building. Should we put the hospital inside the forest? You see, a bad man is a bad man but my happiness is to see you people happy like this.
“When women pray for you from their heart, not the prayer you pay people money to pray for you, that is commercial prayer, when people pray for you from their heart, that works effectively.
“The only thing I want to plead with you is this. This drainage costs us lot of money and you can see the quality of the work. You shouldn’t allow anyone to throw dirt inside the drainage because, if they block it, rain will enter people’s houses but when it is kept clean and dirt-free, it will be for your benefit. From now till my last day in office, this government will continue to work for the people.
“In some parts of the country today, most states find it difficult to pay salaries, but we are paying salaries and still working because when your intentions are good, God will give you the ability to bring it to fruition and no evil plot against you will prosper. So, I am unfazed by all those lies they say on television. You are the real people, what you see is better than the lie they say on television.”
According to Oshiomhole: “we needed to do this drainage to de-flood the city so that the next rainy season, people in this area don’t have to be afraid. The only favour I will demand of you as community leaders is to police the place and ensure people don’t dump waste into it so it doesn’t get blocked. With the width of these drainage, no matter the volume of water passing through, the drainage is wide enough to contain it and to take it through to the river. So, help talk to the women, the youth and children to see this drainage as something that they must protect.”
At the project site, work was in progress as the site manager of Setraco, Mr. Jean El Sabbogh, and all the workers were busy with their numerous equipment.