The Ebonyi State APC gubernatorial candidate in the 2019 election, Senator Sonni Ogbuoji has raised the alarm that the Abakaliki bloc of the state that is abo0ut 2/3 of the state lives at the imminent danger of return to the dreaded guinea worm scourge.
He also intimated that this ugly trend is the handiwork of Governor David Umahi who shut down the Oferekpe Water Scheme that supplies water to the entire zone and built by former Governor Martin Elechi.
He alerted on this on Saturday when he hosted elders and political leaders of the region during a solidarity visit to him.
Ogbuoji expressed regret that Umahi has been for so long playing politics with the lives of the citizens of the state, and the worst being this man-made water scarcity gambit he tries his hands on without considering the danger to the people and the future of the state.
‘Normal people don’t play politics with the basic necessities of the people. That is what Umahi has been good at and that is the difference between me and him because I am a normal being and will never try such politics. I am one to be voted into power by the people, and if they are strangulated with harsh and chocking policies of vindictiveness, who then benefits from my leadership. Who then do I serve, the reason one is in leadership position. That is why I warn that our people should be wary of such antics. They are deadly and must be done away with.’
That water scheme with capacity to supply 100,000 cubic litres of water daily was built by Elechi for the good of the state. But 18 months ago, Umahi’s government grounded this all important project that is like the blood that flows in their veins to keep them alive.
In this period, no homes in Abakaliki have had water for use apart from those that have their private water boreholes. The people have been returned to the old ways of agony and pains over water scarcity. And bad as it is, Umahi has built and sustains decorative water fountains that pump water for show while lives are threatened by water scarcity for close to two years.
‘This is the opposite of the politics I play or would ever play and that is why he must be shown the way out next year.
‘This zone of the state was known for the guinea worm scourge for ages. It took the intervention of the state government, NGOs and international donor agencies to eradicate.
But the end to the crises came after Gov. Elechi built and activated the Oferekpe Water Scheme that supplies 100,000 cubic litres of water per day and serves almost the 8 LGAs of the Abakaliki bloc, but
18 months ago, Gov. Umahi’s administration grounded that plant and for that period of time, no home in the Abakalki city of 1.2m people has seen potable water from the taps.
All the LGAs served by the plant live without water too. Today, 2/3 of the population of the state has gone back to get brown and guinea worm infested dug out water from mud pits.
That old and terrible scourge that stopped the economic growth of the people, shortened their lifespan and caused deaths will soon be back and Umahi doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to do anything about it.
This is not good politics and must be voted out for normalcy to return,’ he urged.
His visitors who were led by the Director General of the Ogbuoji Campaign Organization, Senator Anthony Agbo in response however assured him of the support of the people of the region, reason they paid him the crucial visit.
They also pleaded with Ogbuoji to ensure that his administration would unite the state that has been fragmented by the present administration and also restore water supply to the region to avert the guinea worm scourge return that stares them in the face.