Oko women protest against sand excavation
By Sunny A. David, Awka
Over 200 women in Oko, Orumba North Council Area of Anambra State have staged a protest threatening to pack out of the community if government did not arrest sand excavators in their community.
The women were carrying placards with inscriptions like “stop excavating sand from our land”, “our children have no place to live in”, “They excavate up to 400 trips a day”, “A plot of land in Oko is ten million because of scarcity of land” among others.
The President General of the community Mr. Nwammuo-Ike said they can no longer fold their arms and watch individuals chase them out of their land noting that at the rate with which gully erosion is widening, they would be forced out of their community in no distant time.
He said that NEWMAP has waded into the matter by opting to control the site but on condition that sand excavation must stop which has not been possible because of the continuous excavation.
The leader of the women Mrs. Maureen Izuegbunam explained that they decided to pack out of the community since their houses are caving in, because of to the gully.
The leader of the youths of the community, Comrade Emmanuel Izuegbunam went down memory lane on the steps they have taken to stop the act which he regretted has yielded no result, adding that they are now out to redeem their community.
Another stakeholder in the community Mr. Ernest Nwosu said that the excavators are sabotaging government’s efforts to check the gully menace.
According to him, Governor Willie Obiano has paid the counterpart fund of one billion naira that made it possible for NEWMAP to come in, adding that over thirty houses have caved in due to the erosion.
Meanwhile, the Transition Committee Chairman for Orumba North council area Mrs. Ify Obinabo who met the protest, advised the women to be calm and allow her wade into the matter and bring it to a favourable conclusion.
According to her, Governor Obiano’s administration is one with a human face and would not allow things to get out of hand.
The protest crippled human and vehicular movements for over three hours along Ekwulobia-Oko -Amaokpala road.