By Chijindu Emeruwa
Hon Jerry Uzosike, the Member representing Umuahia South Constituency at the Abia State House of Assembly, has stated that it is not within his purview to fix gully erosion.
This was coming against the backdrops of an allegation by a chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC) from Abia state, Uche Mark Nwosu, wherein he accused the Abia lawmaker reported in the social media that he had not done nothing concerning the devastating erosion site at Umunwanwa community in Umuahia south local government area of the state.
However, Hon Uzosike, who was speaking with select journalists in a press conference held at his Constituency office in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, on Saturday, clarified that as a legislator he is empowered to sponsor motions and draw the attention of government concerning devastating erosion.
He reiterated that he has always been in the media, talking about Umunwanwa road, Umunwanwa gully erosion, the devastating erosion at Olokoro bridge, Mgbarakuma/Ubakala road as well as sponsored motions at the floor of the House which Uche Nwosu alluded to.
He also emphasised that immense efforts has been made concerning the multimillion naira Umunwanwa gully erosion site, revealing that he has dragged the Representative of Abia Central Senatorial district, Senator Theodore Orji, to the gully erosion site, just as he handed pictures of the site while the Senator has also added his voice to the pitiable condition of the gully erosion site at the National Assembly.
Uzosike further disclosed that said he has attended several seminars on NEWMAP projects while also making case for Umunwanwa gully erosion, saying that these moves forced NEWMAP to visit the site with a firm promise that the erosion site will be captured when a 200 million dollars grant for erosion sites in the country is released.
On the stumbling block impeding the realization of repair of the gully erosion at Umunwanwa Umuokpara community in Umuahia south local government area of Abia, the lawmaker also recalled that on 28th August, 2019, he visited the Ecological Office in Abuja, met with the Permanent Secretary, Ecological Office as well as the Procurement Officer to make case for Umunwanwa erosion, regrettably, Umunwanwa community was not captured by the Ecological Office.
Continuing, Uzosike stated that they advised him that to make proper case for his community, the erosion site must be captured in their database, stressing that on return, he engaged the service of Rhino Maritime Services and Construction Ltd in 21st September, 1999, based in Port Harcourt who designed the Umunwanwa erosion project and handed it over to him.
He further stated that after the design, he flew to Abuja to submit the design at Ecological Office at Abuja, maintaining that anyone who says he hasn’t done enough concerning Umunwanwa erosion projector is lying, pointing out that currently, the erosion site has been captured.
The Abia PDP lawmaker, said he has also contributed the sum of N1m to expedite action on the site as agreed by sons and daughters from the area, reiterating that he has committed huge resources to make sure the Umunwanwa project does not get so bad before intervention from the Federal Government and other donor agencies.
Uzosike appealed to his constituents to continue to exercise hope of a better tomorrow as help was around the corner to ameliorate their sufferings.
He partly said, “It is not in my purview to fix erosions. But it is in my purview to talk about it. And I think I have not failed in doing that. When I went to Ecological Office on 28 of August, I wrote my name and filled the attendance register. I have talked about that issue of erosion. My duty again is to sponsor a motion bringing that problem to the notice of executive arm of government. I have done that severally at the State House of Assembly. And that is the extent I can do, and I have done them.
“It is my community. They are aware of the extent I did. I told you I posted it in facebook. And my visit to the ecological office was published and made public in the media. If go theough my Facebook timeline you will see it, and is even where I got the pictures of the gully erosion today. When I held a meeting with the company to design which I paid for, is in the media. What the community is waiting for, is the problem being solved. And they know efforts we have made. Even the efforts are ongoing. We all know that the leadership of the community came together and decided to help ourselves. We started contributing money. I was the first two that donated one million naira. So, it is on record.
“Don’t expect me, if I make a phone call, I will inform community, if I go to Ecological office, I call the community, No. No, this is not the way. What we gladen their heart is to see the contractor to tackle that erosion and get it done. My community is very much aware I have put in efforts. And that is why they are supporting me.
“I live there in the village. How can they don’t know, what is affecting them is Also affecting me. Ucheb Nwosu. Again, I met Senator T. A Orji over this matter and even the federal House member. The problems we are facing in my Constituency are too numerous. Erosion is everywhere. It is in Isukwuato. It is not only peculiar to the community, it happens everywhere”.
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