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  • Lives, Properties In Peril As Flood Wrecks Colossal Havoc On Indigenes
  • Pythons, Other Snake Species Take Over Households, Farmlands

  • NEMA Officials Visit To Assess Damage

  • Royal Father, Media Publisher Cry Out For Help

By Gloria Acholonu, Imo State Correspondent, in Oguta)

The massive flooding which has affected most Nigeria's coastal communities in states like Adamawa, Kogi, Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta, Rivers and Imo, etc, have wrecked severe havoc in Oguta-Ameshi, an oil producing town along the coastal corridor between Anambra, Delta and Imo states.

Uptil this moment of our news report, Oguta has remained almost submerged in the torrential flood which affected most of the 27 villages and town areas of the community like Egwe, Osu Obodo Eziorsu, Oguta Egbuoma, Nkwesi, Mgbele, Nneukwu, etc.

Other core villages of Oguta Ameshi popularly referred to as "Obodo Oma" or "Obodo girigiri" which were completely ravaged by the menacing flood include, Umudei, Umunkwokomoshi, Osemotor, Obeagwu, Okeichi, Umuajoma, Umuamam, Ngegwu, Abatu, Umunkwocha, Umuorima, Umuosuma, Umuachisi, Umuotogwuma, Obana river bank area and it's surroundings located in Oguta New Layout, among many other axis of the community.

Oguta kingHis Royal Highness, Obi-Eze Nnani Nzeribe (the Eze-Eyiche of Oguta)

NIGERIAN NEWSLEADER Newspaper Correspondent who was in Oguta, also found out that the flood which has continued to increase in level and water volume in the community, submerged several residential houses, shops, hotels, village markets, local schools, churches and other worship centres, farmlands, government and oil company facilities, and consequently destroyed lives and properties running into billions of naira.

As a result of the heavy impact of the flood in the area, pythons and other species of dangerous snakes and aquatic creatures have taken over the Oguta surroundings and some farmlands. It has rendered so many families and indigenes homeless with so many people trapped in their flooded homes, just as the flood washed away farm crops, a situation that might engender low harvest this year and trigger hunger and starvation in Oguta, in the coming months.


One of the flood victims, Mr Padimore Agorua, NIGERIAN NEWSLEADER found out, is presently homeless and in a state of agony. There are many others like Agorua who are so negatively affected in Oguta villages and places like Oruru layout and it's adjoining land close to the Ministry of Works. This is the area where Crystal Lake Hotels and Suites and the Cyfine Nwapa Palm Plantation, said to be owned by the former Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Local Content Monitoring Board, Engr. Ernest Nwapa, are located. Nwapa's expansive swimming pool was also overwhelmed by the flood.

As the locals continuously lament their woes caused by the yet unabating flood, the Oguta farmers in Osemotor, Oguta 3 and those in the oil field at the Oil exploration areas of AGIP ( NAOC) and SHELL (SPDC) STERLING GLOBAL Companies respectively, are equally lamenting sorrowfully over their loss of properties and farm crops worth billions of naira. They are currently stranded over what to do and how to recover their lost investments.

With help not clearly in sight, more lives are still under threat and more houses and economic properties are equally under the threats of the flood. For instance, NIGERIAN NEWSLEADER discovered during our field inspection of the affected areas that even beautiful houses like those belonging to one Mr Oliver Agbasoga, located along the road to Eze Oba, beside a place called "Yaya Tailor" in those days, are threatened by the heavy flooding.

Even the royal palaces of Akwuonyeugwo and Nnani Oputa have also been submerged in the flood, including the homes of some eminent persons in the Oguta community, like Engr. Ernest Nwapa, the former Executive Secretary of Nigerian Local Content and Monitoring Board (NCMB) and late Ogbuagu Okwui Onyia, as well as the road leading to Oguta Pavilion where the Pontoons ferry automobiles and persons across to the other side of the Oguta Lake where other towns that make up the Oguta Local Government Area are located, are all threatened by the flood.

Also flooded are the Obana/Okposha flank where renowned novelist of blessed memory, Mrs Flora Nwapa; the Swedish-based international music icon, Dr Alban Nwapa and Obi Ajie Okwosa's houses, etc, are all located. Other flood affected areas include the bridge that connects Oguta town to Egbuoma, a neighbouring town. This is the bridge that leads to late Chief Arthur Nzeribe's sprawling country home. Already, people are now making use of alternative routes through Ohaozara town, to enter and exit Oguta. A journey through this route is said to be like a merry-go-round.

Already, the devastating effects of the Oguta flooding has triggered hunger and starvation in the community occasioned by artificial food crisis. Many families, children, women, youths and the elderly are presently starving. Business activities are currently at a halt as people could no longer venture out of their flooded abode and from wherever they are talking up temporary shelter to engage in their routine businesses. School children are equally at home because of the flooding of their schools, despite the fact that the first term academic calender is currently running which will end in mid December, ahead of Christmas.

In Oguta-Ameshi presently, there is total agony, misery, poverty, frustration, angst, disillusionment, disease affliction and evident threats of epidemic. The health condition of the flood victims and the people of the community general is precarious. The pools of flood water emits putrid or fetid smell everywhere. There is an increased level of mosquito bites which has hightened the threat of malaria scourge. Fears and reality of diarrhea and dysentery affliction are walking companions with the unfortunate flood victims and people of Oguta-Ameshi.

The residents of the community are currently in dare need of food, drugs, household products and sundry donations, including shelter as a result of the ravages of the overwhelming flood which has partially submerged Oguta for several weeks now, after a few weeks of their annual traditional festivals of "Omereife" otherwise known as "Ogene Oma" and "Ogene Nkirika", in late August.

The flood menace in Oguta has attracted the attention of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) whose officials visited the community early in the week to assess the extent of the destruction by the flood so as see how government could substantially intervene to alleviate the challenges and suffering conditions of the victims. Even Hon. Frank Ugboma, the lawmaker representing Oguta Constituency at the Imo State House of Assembly also went round the affected areas in a canoe ride with his entourage to console the victims and doled out tokens of cash gifts to them for immediate self sustenance.

NIGERIAN NEWSLEADER Newspaper Correspondent also gathered in Oguta, that officials of Oguta Local Government Area led by it's interim Caretaker Chairman, also went round the town to assess the damages done by the flood and to console the victims as well.

Meanwhile, the traditional executive council of Oguta-Ameshi known as Obi-Eze, has responded swiftly to the flood emergency at hand. The Eze-Igwe and paramount ruler of Oguta Community, His Royal Highness Eze Nnani Nzeribe (the Eze-Eyiche of Oguta) in a 4-paragraph Save-Our-Soul (SOS) letter with reference number Ref: 20-708-029-mmxxii and dated Tuesday, October 11, 2022, to the Oguta Associations resident in the UK & Ireland, called for a speedy assistance with both material and financial help to alleviate the sufferings, misery, agony and public health threats already constituted by the impact of the flood on the Oguta people and the community's environment.

The Royal Father's letter which was personally signed along with the Noble Ogene of Oguta, Ogene Patrick .O. Ojadi, reads thus: "You must have heard and seen the havoc this year's (2022) flood wrecked on our people and the community. The Oguta Traditional Executive Council meeting on Tuesday, October 11, 2022, at the Obi-Eze Oguta, resolved to appeal to you for succor and relief as well as aid of our people both in cash and kind.

"We have also lost millions of tonnes of farm produce as a result of flooding and innundation of our farms and fish ponds that have been totally wiped out. Our immediate needs now includes, but not limited to, shelter, food and medication against mosquito bites, malaria, diarrhea and dysentery.

"The victims would, however, need financial assistance for rehabilitation to be able to go back to their farms and reclaim their homes after the flood.

"We should, however, start now to think of long term solutions to this decade cycle of floods that destroy our homes and livelihood. We, therefore, would request the structural Engineers and Limnologists among you to proffer a solution to this recurring disaster.

"All cash donations should be lodged with the Oguta Community account in Zenith Bank Nig. Plc number: 1222340844.

"As we look forward to your response to our appeal, please accept our assurances of the highest esteem", the monarch appealed.

In the midst of the hopeless situation pervading the community, however, the Imo state government, it was gathered, is yet to come to the aid of Oguta, despite the fact that the state governor, Senator Hope Odidika Uzodimma popularly known as " Onwa Oyoko" (the moon that shines for all) hails from Orlu town of Awoamama, which shares very close boundary proximity and Senatorial jurisdiction with Oguta, in the Orlu Senatorial district of Imo state.

However, prominent indigenes of Oguta-Ameshi in different walks of life are beginning to cry out for help to the victims of the massive flooding.

One of them, Mrs Juliet Nwabiani-Okafor, a prominent Journalist and Development Economist, who is a founding Managing Director/CEO of this Abuja based leading Online/Print news medium, NIGERIAN NEWSLEADER, however called on both the Federal and Imo state governments, to quickly deploy help through their intervention agencies to the victims of Oguta flood in order to avert an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in the community.

Mrs Juliet OkaforMrs. Juliet Nwabiani Okafor: Calls On FG, Imo Government To Intervene

She was so full of encomiums for the Eze-Igwe and paramount ruler of Oguta, His Royal Highness, Obi-Eze Nnani Nzeribe (the Eze-Eyiche of Oguta) for the swift intervention of his traditional council in alerting and mobilizing the sons and daughters of Oguta, both at home and abroad, through a Save-Our-Soul (SOS) letter, for prompt intervention in saving the flood victims of their community.

Juliet Nwabiani-Okafor, who is the second daughter of late Damanze Eze-ekpe, Francis Bonny Nwabiani of Umunkwokomoshi village, also deeply empathized with the victims of the flood, urging them to be patient as help is already coming their way through the efforts of the traditional council led by Obi-Eze, HRH Eze Nnani Nzeribe and the concerned sons and daughters of Oguta-Ameshi.

Another Oguta indigene, Mr Shedrack Orjiakor, also lamented the flood ravages in the area, which, he said, has been a recurring development that seemed to have been ignored or defied solution. He recalled the similar flood disasters in Oguta-Ameshi in 2012 and in 2019 rainy seasons, saying they were opportunities for measures to have been put in place to avert this year's flood disaster.

Orjiakor, however, called for the convocation of a summit of all sons and daughters of Oguta, as quickly as possible, in order to find a lasting solution to the perennial flood disaster in the Community. NNL.

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