By Joseph Chimezie.

The duty of every government is to ensure it’s citizen’s safety and physiological needs are met and Imo state is not an exception. No right thinking government will allow the interest of few individuals to over rule the interest of the general public.

This is the reason why Imo state government has taken it as a duty to ensure that Owerri, the Imo state capital’s clean and green taste is restored.

Every discerning Imolites would agree with me that Owerri, the Imo state capital which was among the neatest cities in our country in the past has lost it’s clean and green taste. And if there’s a time we need to cooperate with the government to ensure that the state capital’s clean and green taste is restored, it is now.

Imolites woke up to the news of the demolition of illegal structures early hours of last Monday morning in the state capital especially in places where such structures are obstructing traffic and it continued through out the week, such development is already generating tension, tongues are waging in protest.

I understand the pains of such demolition considering the high level of unemployment but of a truth, Owerri, lately has lost it’s glory, every available space is now a market, every crowded junction has been turned to a park for commercial bus drivers to carry passengers and an avenue for touts to generate revenue from buses. We may be looking at the plight of those affected but we may never understand the security threats of such structures.

Apart from the security threats, these illegal structures have contributed immensely in worsening traffic on our major roads and have turned our roads to mini markets for hawkers and a safe haven for beggars.

For Owerri to regain it’s clean and green taste, some businesses, road side shops, itinerant traders, hawkers, beggars etc must give way on our major roads.

This was how Aba started till it got to it’s present decrepit state and the former governor would never forget piles of criticisms and how unpopular the ruins in the commercial city of Aba reduced him to. Same people that resisted moves by the government in the demolition of illegal structures in Aba in the past were same people that used it against the former governor.

If we don’t curb this menace now, the same indecorous critics of the peoples governor who have turned the mouth piece of those affected would be same critics that will still be here to criticize the peoples governor in future for not restoring Owerri’s clean and green taste.

We also need to cooperate with the government in this task. Imo state government didn’t approve nor constructed those affected structures, if our state capital deteriorates to the level Aba is right now, it is the peoples governor that would be held responsible.

Change remains the only constant thing in life and it does not just come by shouting change or voting for change, change is a process, change requires sacrifice, somethings must give way for change to come. Some may say why now? If not now, then when?

The gains of demolishing such illegal structures far outweighs the pains.

Apart from ending the incessant traffic gridlock on some of our major roads, beggars and hawkers if not eradicated will be reduced. Kidnappers and their informants who are also using some of these structures as spy glass on their would be targets will find it very difficult to do.

Illegal structures on our parks, if demolished will give way for proper parks and buses may not have reasons to load on crowded bus stops. It will also go a long way in eliminating touts that have taken over our bus stops.

These demolished structures would help in restoring our state capital’s clean and green taste. The authorities saddled with the responsibility of keeping Imo state clean must be up and doing. Environmental sanitation is no longer taken serious in our polity. This is the time to educate Imolites on the need to keep their environment clean and also ensure our gutters and drainages are always clean. Especially now we are experiencing heavy down pour.

In as much as we want the best for our state, we also need to help our government to achieve such. The interest of few individuals should never be allowed to over rule the safety and well being of the general public.

source Joseph Chimezie, writes from Owerri, Imo state.

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