WRITING on the recent series of demolition of illegal shanties at the bridgehead, Onitsha, Emmanuel Obe of the PUNCH Newspaper (Saturday Punch of January 19, 2013, page 14), among other things, stated thus: "Tales of woe and despondency hung in the air as bulldozers deployed by the Anambra State Government roared through all the markets on the River Niger bridgehead end of the Onitsha-Enugu Expressway some days ago".
Yes, there were series of demolition at the bridgehead axis of Onitsha , the commercial nerve centre of Anambra State . That axis is the major entrance to Anambra State . Whatever one sees at this strategic point, as one enters Anambra State , says a lot about the government and people of the State.
A visitor or returnee coming from Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Edo and Delta States or from Abuja or even outside Nigeria, forms his or her opinion about the hygiene, sense of aesthetics, and decorum or lack of it and the people and government of Anambra State based on what he/she sees at the bridgehead.
Before now, that is before the demolition, the bridgehead area on both sides, was home to filth – animal dung, birds' feathers, muddy and oily soil- where decayed tomatoes, onions and other condiments were recklessly displayed to the discomfiture of the residents of and visitors to Onitsha and those on transit to Enugu, Imo, Abia, Cross -River, Rivers, Kogi and the Northern States of the country.
It is only imperative that such dirty, such unhygienic and such unsightly scenario could not continue to be tolerated by any responsive and responsible government.
What is going on in Onitsha and in some other cities and towns in Anambra State under Governor Peter Obi's watch, are the right things: They are logically defensible; they emanate from a clear conscience and what is more, they serve the interest of the majority of the people.
It is on record that for more than five years, Governor Obi's administration has been appealing to traders at the bridgehead, Onitsha to vacate the area so that it could be worked on – cleared of refuse and rubbish, asphalted and beautified so that traffic from the Asaba end (in neighbouring Delta State) can flow freely and people entering Anambra State can feel the effect of civilisation.
The Governor had visited the traders several times, appealed to them on several occasions to see reasons to relocate to an area in Ogbunike – Umunya axis on the Enugu-Onitsha expressway so that work could commence at the bridgehead.