By Daniel Dafe
Former Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ethiope East Local Government Area, Delta State, Chief Kings Okpako, on Saturday repaired failed portions of roads in Abraka close to the campus gate of Delta State University, DELSU, Abraka.
Speaking to journalists during the exercise, the PDP chieftain, a former Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Dr Ifeanyi Okowa on Community Development, said he was moved to carry out the action because he saw that “the place is now a ghost of itself.”
According to him, Governor Okowa has done very well for Abraka in the area of road construction, saying that the said spot he fixed have been abandoned for long.
In his words: “A University town and the front of the University gate should not look unkempt.”
Adding: “I saw the interlocking stones my brother used in his hotel and abandoned, so I thought and decided to gather these boys and to give this place a befitting look because when it rains, you can spend 30mins on this spot. So, the 5 potholes are what I am covering this morning.”
Speaking further, he said: “I have this spirit of connectivity, of empathy and compassion for the less privileged. Not everybody can buy a car or have their vehicle and even if you have your own vehicle, you will still get stocked here. When I see people spend 1hr or more on this spot, it touches me and this is where I pass to my house. Even my street called Kuti Street, is equally bad but a journey of 1000 miles begins with a step. I know the next Governor of Delta State, Hon Sheriff Oborevwori Is going to touch Abraka in a very great way. But for now, this is raining season and we must do something about it before it gets worse. So that is my contribution,”
Furthermore, he called on all industrious sons of the soil to contribute their own quota, saying if they do, the place will be a unique place to stay.
He said: “America and London are beautiful but home is the best. There is no way that I can change my origin from Abraka so certainly this is the only way that I can support. I have been here since December 2021 on this soil and I woke up this morning and said to myself what do I do to contribute my quota and I decided to do this. If I have the means I can do this to other roads or if I am encouraged but certainly I do not even want anybody’s contributions. I feel I can do this alone.”
He continued: “Others in other places like Sapele, Warri, Agbaro, Ughelli even across the state and country come to this town. So, the road should be in good state. My major issue is that people will just beautify and fence their own compounds and leave the road in a bad shape. Do your best to see that Abraka is developed. Contribute to the lives of the less privileged, the orphans and widows even if it is just few people you can help.
“A lot of charlatans are on the street and it doesn’t go well with me and I believe that is just the start of what I will be doing. For the past 30 years, I have been assisting the widows in my society. The present governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa was coming here before he became a governor to contribute his quota to the widows and orphans.
“I am the only child of my mother. I have no brother and sister so I feel everybody in Abraka is either my brother or sister. So, this is the only way I can show my love for them.”
Continuing, he said: “My point is this; gone are the days of oil boom, time has come that we indigenes of the place have to do something about our roads. As long as you can beautify your personal compounds, you can also pay attention to all the little roads because you also make use of them.
“This road links different communities; the heart of Abraka, opposite the University gate. But, if the community sits down and talk about how to make this place developed it will be nice. We have 2 regions here; the Umiaghwa and the Oruarivie kingdoms with two kings in a 3 ward community. I urge the 2 kings who are influential and highly respected to sit down and think about what they can do about the roads in the community. They can call on well-to-do sons to donate towards the project of fixing the bad roads.
“I am telling you that the time has come for the indigenes of this community to sit down and ask themselves what can we do for this our roads? Because, if you are a wealthy man with luxurious cars, you will still sit in the traffic, with the bike men and tricycle drivers caused by the bad roads. So why not sit down and think what you can do to better the roads.
“Some roads cannot be repaired with just coal tar. You will need interlocking stones for the water to flow very well because the soil has failed. Roads have a life span. If the soil has failed, there is nothing you can do about it. That is why I like Julius Berger. They will dig 6ft down and construct from the soil. If the soil has failed, whatever you put on top will also fail. That’s why we have to do what we call special construction of roads in Delta State. We have the means. If Anambra State that has no oil like Delta State can get to where it is and Obi can do what he did for the past 8 years in Anambra State, why not replicate the same thing here in Delta State?”
Meanwhile, he urged youths in the community to embrace academics.
“I have a hostel here in Abraka, Oghenekevwe hostel. AY, Gordons and Bovi were my tenants and what I say to them then when we had our meeting is that you left your parents house for one reason; every other thing is secondary. So let education be your priority. Embrace education first.
“Most of us don’t have and are not privileged to have Masters Degree and PhD but thank God we were schooled and the little we acquired those days surpasses a lot of them now. I met a student that could not fill a bank teller. I asked a lady in this town, what are your hobbies? She said she is not married. What’s your discipline? She said she does not take nonsense. She said all those things because she is not schooled. So, embracing education and academics should be everyone’s first goal. Education makes you exclude yourself from timidity; you can face anybody because you are not daft. Education is very important,” Chief Okpako said.
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