RECENTLY, Enugu State government through its agency, Enugu Capital Development Authority (ECDTA) embarked on demolition of illegal structures in the metropolis. When the demolition started, it was greeted with criticisms from people. The man at the helm of affairs of the agency, Mr. ……… Onoh,son of the lakte Chief C.C. Onoh, former Governor of old Anambra State was not moved by sentiments from people. The head of ECDTA was poised to re enact what Mallam Nasir El- Rufui did in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja when he was the Minister of FCT. Abuja was filled with so many squalors, illegal settlements and illegal structures before El – Rufui, who today is the Governor of Kaduna State, took over as Minister of the Capital Territory.
Informed by Enugu geographical map and the laws guiding environment of the area, Onoh executed his task with dexterity and passion to restore Enugu to what it used to be and to ensure that sanity reigns as far aesthetic nature of Enugu metropolis is concerned. Of course, he is not oblivious of the effects the demolition will have on the persons whose illegal structures were affected. Certainly, he knew but he believed that the right thing needs to be done. Interestingly, a lot of people in the state are beginning to see reason with ECTDA and Onoh. Some areas in the city are wearing new looks with beautiful flowers adorning major streets of the metropolis. An example is the road that leads to one of the major super markets in the state called Shoprite. This writer did not only observe the beautiful nature of the road but that the traffic logjam that usually characterise the area has disappeared. Cars that usually park along the road to buy some products from the illegal structures were no where to be seen making the road free from traffic.
The governor of the state, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who has a heart of gold and feels for the people has plans to relocate the affected persons to another area(s). IT was gathered that the petty traders were given enough time to vacate the illegal structures. Governor Ugwuanyi also is currently embarking on reconstruction and construction of roads in the city. This is helping to eschew traffic logjam or hold up in the cities. Motorists used to waste a lot of time because of bad road but the situation is now becoming better.
The governor should as a matter of urgency look into some areas like New GRA, Trans-Ekulu, Abakpa Nike and some parts of Achara Layout with a view to working on some of the roads. Human population is much in these areas and some of the roads therein need urgent attention. He should visit such areas quietly and privately; if he likes, he could disguise himself to find out the truth about the areas.
The pedestrian bridge being constructed at Main Market, near Holy Ghost Catholic Church is a welcome development. This will help people to cross to the market and exit from the market through either side of the road. Nonetheless, it will ease traffic in the area. The writer would rather suggest that in future, government should try to construct flyover from Okpara Avenue through Main Market to Zik Avenue. This will definitely help motorists and it will save man-hour time spent by people on the roads.
The opening up of some areas like Owachi, Nkwubor and other areas in Emene will help a lot to decongest Enugu metropolises. Governor Ugwuanyi has started constructing roads leading to such areas. For examples, the road from Orie Emene Market to Godfrey Okoye University, Caritas University is currently on-going. It is expected that it will get to Owachi through Nkwubor. This writer is of the know that a lot of people, particularly low-income and middle income earners have plots of land in those areas and all they are waiting for is for government to provide access roads and electricity there to enable them move in. Undoubtedly, with the development of the area, Enugu metropolis will be highly or hugely decongested. The governor has started well on this. It is also on record that many organizations, institutions, including federal establishments have allocations there.
As Christmas is fast approaching, efforts should be made to ensure that some major roads are fixed. The governor should be commended for taking bold steps to embark on roads rehabilitation, reconstruction and construction. The people of the state and residents must give him maximum support to decongest and beautify the state capital, Enugu. There is urgent need to turn some monuments like the former residence of the first President of Nigeria, Rt. Hon. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Owelle of Onitsha to tourist sites. The Eastern Nigeria Legislative Building needs to be turned into tourist site and this will yield revenue for the state. Experts in ethnography and museum developments need to be consulted for this.