SG to Dualise Aleto – Eteo Road
Accords Okori-Eleme a 2nd Class Stool
Samuel O. Onungwe
Recently, I sighted a document sent to my mentor during a date at his office. Part of it was hidden in the book: a month and a day by Ken Saro-Wiwa which laid fallow on his desk. From a distance it reads:
“You are hereby; invited to Eleme stakeholders meeting billed at Otoor Eleme, Alode Nchia, Eleme LGA.”
The theme was tagged “…Towards the Development of Eleme,” as signed by the King of Eleme himself and his secretary.
“At a time everyone is focused on combating Covid19, a meeting to be convened by Emeren Eleme against the strict regulation on public gathering?” I thought to myself! “The Emeren Eleme that I know is a peaceful and law abiding father, he would not be in defiance to the law.” I decided to put a call to him but I had a second thought after checking the time. “He must be busy now,” I soliloquised. Sending an sms may not get me a speedy reply so I decided to put a call to one of his aides who was known to me. I expressed my concern on the matter but he assured me that everything was under control. He thanked me for my interest and I dropped the call.
Five days later, I learnt the meeting was held online with ZOOM. It was chaired by Emeren Eleme and his Council of Chiefs was in attendance. Others were the Executives and the Legislative arms of the Local Government. Religious organisations were represented by their principal officers. Trade and Labour Unions and the security agencies in the Area were properly represented.
During the meeting the issues of security and development took the centre stage. Eleme youth who for some time have volunteered as vigilantes to secure the communities were commended, they were charged to operate within the ambit of the law. It was resolved that the Eleme L.G.A should provide them with appropriate PPE, other tools to make their job easy and incentives to boost their morale. Members of the communities were assured of the safety of life and property provided they abided by the laws of the land.
Clan Heads were mandated to setup an Electrical Committee which would ensure that PHED bills were paid by each Clan as against the individual basis to forestall discrepancies in their billing. The committee would also ensure that money is promptly remitted to PHED in order to boost electricity supply in the area. This would endure until PHED provides and installs the statutory prepared meters across the land.
The streets naming project of the Council was extolled and she was encouraged to ensure its completion in a record time.
Eleme people mandated their LGA Authority to ensure that potable water supply was restored immediately in the land as a response to the lamentation made by one of the participants who decried the difficulty faced in the midst of the current pandemic especially at Onne. He said that some people at Ogale were still depending on the benzene contaminated water for their daily living.
It was then Emeren Eleme told the Chairman that if the available resources at his disposal would not be enough, he should contact the major corporate organisations in the land for support.
A committee was setup by the people of Eleme and to be headed by Emeren Nchia. His team would on behalf Eleme people and its residents send a congratulatory message to the Governor on his anniversary in office. They would applaud him on his giant developmental strides which have transformed the landscape of Rivers State especially, for the projects he has done in Eleme land.
At that meeting, each Clan Head was mandated to take an inventory of the number of roads in their clans and list out three (3) that needs urgent attention. These would be compiled and forwarded to the Governor.
After several consultations and deliberations, a delegation led by Emeren Nchia and selected stakeholders comprising of various strata of the society paid a visit at the Brick House.
At the Government House, the leader of the delegation congratulated the Governor and his team for the different projects being carried out in the state amidst economic crisis across the world. He likened his work to the Biblical feeding the hungry with five loaves of bread and two fishes. He then prayed God to bless His Excellency with more wisdom and resources to realize his new vision.
Thereafter, he reminded the Governor of his promise to Eleme people during the last elections. In his habitual oratory, he interjected with “Eleme sobo koiri?”
“Your Excellency, Eleme people are mindful that resources are scarce hence, to make the work easy, we have compiled a list of projects we consider very critical to us,” Emeren Nchia said. “While we await the federal government plan to build the Eleme Section of the East-West road, we appeal that Aleto – Eteo Road, being the old Port Harcourt – Bori Road be dualised.” He then listed other projects in need of attention.
In his response, the Governor who was excited at the unity in Eleme land thanked the people for their support especially, during the last the election.
He said: “I can see my good friend, the Emeren Okori, let me start with him. Henceforth, the Okori Eleme is recognized as a second class stool.” There was a loud ovation and he continued, “As for the roads you have mentioned, I did not forget my promise to you. Just yesterday, I discussed it with your son, the Commissioner for Works. It is true that your population may not be as large as those of Ikwerre and Ogoni yet, it is also true that you contribute much to the state’s coffers.
“Ahmm Julius Berger will be mobilized to site for the dualisation of Aleeto – Etio Road.” There was a louder applause. “You see, Port Harcourt is congested and we need to tackle completely the issue of security and develop the Eleme into a city so that people and comfortably reside in that town.
“I have said that the Faculty of Agriculture at the Rivers State University must be operated from Onne campus. We shall make funds available for its take off.
“In the coming days, we shall build a standard market at the trailer park axis for the good people of Eleme and work will commence at the community secondary school Ebubu as earlier promised.
“RIVCAS, Rivers State College of Arts and Science will now operate at the Model Secondary, Ejama Ebubu.”
I was tuned to the AIT’s news at 8:00 and the feeling I had likened to that of the Samarian lady. I dashed out of my sitting room exclaiming Ete, Ete, I was calling on my eldest brother’s attention to inform him of the cheering news only to wake up from a dream. I checked the wall clock at the foot of my bed; it was a minute past midnight. I knelt down beside the bed to thank God for another day. I prayed Him to make that dream a reality.