As at 11.00pm on Sunday, Governor Peter Obi had concluded arrangements concerning Independence Day celebration – the match pass, the reading of Mr. President’s Speech and visit to the less privileged. However, everything changed when, at 11:30pm, the Secretary to the Government, Mr. Oseloka Obaze brought the message of impending doom at Ogbaru if the people were not evacuated. Immediately, Governor Obi ordered evacuation to start and promised to join the team at 5:30am. With this, he delegated the Independence Day ceremonies to his deputy. He agreed that Anambra people must be alive first to celebrate Independence.
At 5:45am, Governor Obi was at Ogbaru.
What would have been a major tragedy was averted when the Governor insisted on talking to the people directly to leave all their property and be evacuated to safe places. When he was coming out from Osamalla, flood had already covered the entire road though which he would leave. The Governor and his team had to wade through the flood, which reached their waists, to safety.
At each of the community – Akili-Ogidi, Akili-Ozizor, Amiyi, Atani, Mputu, Obeagwe, Ochuche, Odekpe, Ogbakuba, Ogwu-Aniocha, Agwuikpele, Ohita, Okpoko, Ossomala, Umunankwo, Umuodu, Umuzu, the Governor explained to them why they should be evacuated and promised them that Government would continue to assist them till the flood is over and even to rehabilitate them thereafter.
The Governor also toured part of Onitsha that are also affected by flood, especially Habour Industrial Area. He waded through flood to visit all the factories affected by flood some of which are Pokobros, Krisoral, Bororo pipes and profiling, among others. He assured them that Government would stand by them at this time of trial.
One of the Chief Executive Officers of the companies visited, Chief Emmanuel Eziokwu thanked the Governor for coming to sympathise with them and lamented that they suffered heavy losses as the flood had destroyed equipment and products worth billions of naira.
The Governor also visited Iyi-owa Odekpe areas of Ogbaru, where canoe peddlers are making money evacuating people. He encouraged them to move to camps set up by Government and that they would be adequately taken care of.
Speaking, the Anglican Bishop of Ogbaru Diocese, Rt. Rev. Samuel Ezeofor who was part of the rescue and evacuation team thanked the Governor for identifying with the people.
Many buses were seen along the road evacuating people to safe areas
How else can you describe a leader? I doff my hat to Gov Peter Obi.
This is quite remarkable of a leader who understands the plight of his people. Good effort by the SSG who intimated the Governor of the problem. Ride on the peoples’ governor.