By Daniel Dafe
The acting President of the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), Youth Wing, Worldwide, Comrade Comrade Bayo Obruche Eyube, has commended the Delta State Governor, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa, who through the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), played a key role in identifying with the people of Abraka when a hotel building under construction in the community collapsed recently.
Eyube who spoke to journalists in Abraka yesterday, also commended the Executive Chairman, Ethiope East Local Government Area, Chief Faith Majemite, saying that the quick response by them attests to the fact that Abraka mattered to the powers that be in the state.
His words: “On behalf of Urhobo youths, we want to commend them also for all the financial assistance, moral support and otherwise in providing relief assistance during the rescue mission of survivors during the collapse.
“It is pertinent to note that the LGA Chairperson arrived the scene of the incidence during the early hours of the same day it occurred. She was practically under the downpour mobilsing for excavators, Red Cross members, fire fighters services, local vigilante and security operatives. She dedicated her entire day to the process.
“She was also on ground to receive the SSG with myself and the DPO the following day after the incident occurred, even though it was on a Sunday. As others will do immediately the SSG left, she did not leave, but decided to stay till the other two corpses trapped in the debris were recovered from the collapsed building. That is leadership.”
Furthermore, he said: “Her presence and that of mine at the scene of the incidence calmed the nerves of angry youths who were already agitating for a possible reprisal attack, as they were vexed that inferior building materials were used for the building that collapsed.
“She has by this once again shown that she is the ‘Oniemor of Africa’, as her motherly care to onlookers and security personnel was very overwhelming.”
He urged her to continue to build on this foundation as it will further give the people of Ethiope East a great sense of belonging and closer to the government which in turn will drive home the dividends of democracy, noting that “the challenges of Ethiope East will be achieved through closeness to the government.”
He wondered why it took the Delta State House of Assembly Member, representing Ethiope East Constituency, Chief Innocent Anidi, a long time to visit the scene of the incidence and condole with the people of Oruarivie-Abraka Kingdom.
“We can now acknowledge the impact of the former House of Assembly member, Hon Evance Ivwurie, who does not fail to quickly identify with the sufferings of the people and at the same time respond swiftly to their calls,” he said.
However, information at our disposal show that the said lawmaker was out of the state when the incidence happened and was at the scene of the collapse yesterday for an on-the-spot assessment of the situation.
On his part, Comrade Kelly Umukoro, State Chairman, Social Patriotic Youths Initiative Nigeria (SPY-In), opined that the visit of the SSG who represented the governor and that of the DSP Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and Rt. Hon Ben Igbakpa condolence messages to the community shows that Abraka people are still very fresh in the map of relevance in the heart of government.
Furthermore, he commiserated with the good people of Abraka Kingdom, and asked the youths to continue to be law abiding, peaceful even in the midst of anger and the tension this incident must have brought to the kingdom. He used the opportunity to advised the youths to desist from any act that can be likened to the get-rich-quick syndrome, and in the same vein Activist Umukoro urged developers in Abraka to avoid the selfishness of using substandard materials in their building projects, as “life is precious we must be cautious, ” saying the case of the collapsed building is one over a hundred.
He however stated that this is the first of its kind in the community and it should be an eye opener to everyone to avoid a reoccurrence.
Speaking further, he tasked state Government officials to seek for dignity and not finance, and contribute to the system and not only take from the system.
He said: “If the Director of Urban Planning in charge of Abraka was sincere to his job he would have long marked that building for demolition but because of corruption he permitted the building to continue, as he called on the Commissioner of Police in the state, CP Adeyinka Adeleke to immediately arrest the Urban Town Planner for negligence of duties.
He added: “The Urban Town Planner gave a statement that he approved the building of a one-storey building; why did he not stop the three-storey building when he discovered it?”
On the death of family members of the contractor , the rights activist condoled with him, as he said this fits into the popular saying that ‘those who stay in glass houses should not throw stones.’
According to him, three family members of the contractor died and were among the four persons trapped when the building collapsed.