The Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL) has called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on erosion menace in the South East geopolitical zone.
President General of COSEYL, Chief Goodluck Ibem, who made the call on Monday, December 16, 2019 in Aba, Abia State, said that the natural scourge was wasting farmlands and destroying homesteads in the South East, hence the need to act urgently.
He lamented the situation in Ohafia, Bende and Isiukwuato Local Government Areas, which he described as “worrisome”, a situation similar to what is obtainable in Imo, Anambra, Enugu and Ebonyi states.
“We are unequivocally calling on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on erosion menace in the entire Abia North Senatorial Zone.
“We must not fail to let everyone know that a combination of the farm produce from Abia North with the neighbouring Ebonyi State can feed the entire South Eastern Nigeria.
“The rice revolution that everyone is talking about now is the main reason why these affected communities should not be abandoned because Abia North and Ebonyi is unarguably the rice producing hub of the South East.
“Our people have been displaced and ran away from their homes; they need to return home and continue doing what they do best.
“We don’t know what is happening to the Ecological Fund in Abia; we call on the Federal Government to ensure the funds are used effectively,’’ he said.
Ibem said apart from the Abia North erosion menace, the entire South East is being deprived of its agricultural lands by erosion which tendency is very dangerous to existence in the zone.
He said that towns like Oko, Ekwuluobia, Nanka and Oba in Anambra State and Njaba, Ideato, Mbano and some parts of Okigwe in Imo State are also facing threats of erosion.
“Ebonyi is not also left out because places like Nguzu-Edda in Afikpo South Local Government Area are in trouble.
“Enugu is suffering from the same natural disaster in places such as Ngwo and Abor in Udi Local Government.
“Also, in the same Enugu State, we’ve received reports that Onuiyi-Nsukka, a community just at the back of UNN, Orba, Imilike and Obollo-Afor in Udenu Local Government are being threatened by erosion too,’’ he explained
Ibem said that there was need to act on the evolving crisis now that some erosion sites are in their infant stages adding that it would be more disastrous and costly to manage when well developed.
He urged the Federal Government in collaboration with South East governments to take action to save lives and property of the citizens before it became late.