Plead with Speaker, Edo state House of Assembly to revisit the resolution mandating the state government to immediately rehabilitate the Evbuotubu road.
By Lola Seriki- Idahosa
For the people of Evbuotubu community in Egor Local Government Area, Edo state, life is apparently nauseating. Located in the heart beat of the state yet monumentally ravaged by poor roads, poverty and all forms of environmental and economic retardation.
The community has been in existence since 1944 but the archaic and shabby infrastructure portray the community like an 18th century settlement. Evbuotubu community was renowned as a commercial hub. But despite the bad roads, it is surprising that commercial activities blossom everyday, the road has evidently deteriorated in manners that display both excessive environmental and infrastructural dilapidation courtesy heavy flooding, bad road channels and drainage, and government neglect.
While its people wallow in pains, frustration and denied rights to basic needs of life, their fate hang in the balance as hope of restoration keep waning each passing day. The acute environmental degradation and poor living conditions paint the picture of a forgotten land and one bereft of government presence.
In the time past, the name Evbuotubu rang a pleasant bell. The community was peaceful and enjoyed tremendous commercial activities. But that is not the case today, as all that is fast disappearing and the community faces annihilation, as a result of persistent flooding with no drainage systems or roads in the once vibrant community that has suffered Government neglect for so long.
Evbuotubu road in Egor Local Government Area of Edo State has become a nightmare to drivers and passengers plying the road due to the deplorable nature of the road.
A visit to the community recently by TraceReporter shows that drivers and residents of the area are now subjected to untold stress plying the road daily.
The people had been suffering from flooding and poor sanitation, water-related diseases, over-crowding and psychological traumas, as indeed their community, Evbuotubu/Iguedaiye, in Egor LGA of Edo State, was alleged to have been neglected and marginalized by successive governments of the State.
We also embarked on few strategic media interfaces and dialogue with the people of Evbuotubu community on the need to increase their cry to the State government.
Gradually, a once ‘docile’ community began to think and mobilize on why they must participate in democracy beyond the polls.
In a chat with some of the market women and youths in the community, told TraceReporter that on Wednesday, September 30, 2015, youths and residents of the community embarked on a peaceful protest to the Edo State House of Assembly in reaction to what they perceived as government’s insincerity and insensitivity to their community roads and school problems. The protesters petitioned the Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly during the mass action.
As a result of the protest, after a House Committee investigation into the petition written to the Speaker of the House by the protesters, the Edo State House of Assembly on February 8, 2016, passed a resolution mandating the Edo State Government to immediately rehabilitate the Evbuotubu roads and by inference address the perennial flooding of the Evbuotubu Primary School. But since then nothing was done.
As the 2016 governorship election in Edo State began to draw nearer, and with few months to the end of the Adams Oshiomhole-led government, Evbuotubu community were kicking as nothing has been said or done by the State Government on the Evbuotubu matter in compliance with the House Mandate. There were rumours that the people were planning “the mother of all protests” and were still threatening to boycott the 2016 gubernatorial election in the State billed for September 10, 2016.
It will be called that in Mid July, 2016, just a couple of months to the September 10, 2016 governorship election in Edo State, road rehabilitation works were suddenly noticed springing up in various parts of Benin City, including the suspended construction work on the Storm Water project of the State government in Evbuotubu.
Some critics in Evbuotubu called it political road rehabilitation exercises, strategically carried out to win the people’s hearts and buy votes from the Evbuotubu electorate as usual. Some Evbuotubu people however welcomed the development and prayed the road rehabilitation work would continue after the elections plus extended to other critical parts of the highly-populated urbanizing community.
On August 2, 2016, Mr. Odupute was at the construction site along Igbinedion Road, behind Asoro Grammar School, in Evbuotubu, to see things for himself. He was told by some on-site staff of the contracting company, Hi-Tech Construction Company Limited, that the resumed Storm Water project in the area would address parts of the roads and erosion menace faced by the residents. What Odupute wasn’t told, however, was whether the project would continue, or would be on hold again for more years, after the 2016 governorship election in Edo State.
We the market women and youths of the community are begging the Edo State House Of Assembly to as a matter of urgency revisit the resolution mandating the state government to immediately rehabilitate the Evbuotubu roads.
By so doing, the youths are of the believes that with good roads, there will be good distribution of market goods and will also be made easily and also easy access to the community.