Imo Gov Aspirant Laments Flooding Of Owerri

An Imo State governorship aspirant for the 2019 gubernatorial election, Nick Opara-Ndudu , has lamented the continued flooding of Owerri, the state capital and adjourning towns, blaming the deluge on the ongoing so-called urban renewal project which he said has led to the destruction of  infrastructure in the city.

Opara-Ndudu, a former commissioner, who is seeking the ticket of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), said that the urban renewal project by the state government, which he insisted  is lacking in  thorough assessment of the existing infrastructure designed to prevent flood, has ended up destroying the drainage systems in the city, hence the frequent flood.

Addressing a committee of friends and party supporters, who paid him a courtesy visit in his country home in Emekuku, Owerri North Local Government Area of the state, on Thursday, he expressed sympathy for the victims of what he called the ongoing rapacious destruction in the city.

 “Imo State was planned from day one by a Swiss firm, Fingerhut&Partners. And that master plan, for Imo State, and Owerri in particular, provided for new cities and it was very detailed with provision of underground drains, gutters, drainages and what have you,”  he declared,  adding that  most of the drains were put in place during  the times of Ndubisi Kanu, Sunday Adenihun and  Sam Mbakwe, and now, they have been destroyed.

According to Opara-Ndudu, “Owerri was known as a city that never got flooded whenever it rained. As a matter of fact, each time it rained, in less than two hours, the rain would have been taken away through the various channels provided under the master plan, which had been constructed over 40 years ago.

Unfortunately, in the past seven years, we have witnessed what I can see as a rapacious destruction of the already provided infrastructure, very solid infrastructure. Beginning with Wetheral Road, where suddenly, Owelle Rochas Okorocha woke up and felt  that he needed  to convert  those drains into walkways.”

He said that  when these drains were covered, no efforts were made to provide alternative channels through which can flow as provide in the master plan, a  situation that has led to the continued  flooding of Owerri city and adjourning towns.

He regretted that Owerri has been taken 50 years  backwards as a result of this  planless reconstruction , and the use of non professionals who could have advised  the government on the right  procedure  regarding city renewal.

Opara-Ndudu  urged Imolites not to lose hope as Imo will rise again when a purposeful leadership, which is sensitive to the feeling of the people will be put in place in 2019