Ogwa in Mbaitoli Local Government area is marginalized, dejected and entirely neglected by Imo State Governments. Ogwa is about seven kilometers away from Owerri. It is an agrarian society and believes in agriculture and its allied products. It has a big market called Afor-Otusi (Afor-Ogwa) an eight-day market that attracts people from far and near.
Ogwa, which is land-locked but thickly populated and second in population only to Mbieri has about seven autonomous communities. It has many primary schools and four secondary schools. Apart from Ogwa Girls’ Secondary School, built by Catholic Mission, others were built by the self effort of Ogwa Community before the civil war.
There is a dispensary in Ogwa built by the peoples’ effort in 1955. There is also a maternity built by the effort of both men and women in 1957. Only God knows the condition of these health projects built at that time by communal effort. By their looks, they no longer represent the purpose they were meant for, hence long neglected and abandoned.
Before the war, Ogwa people built a General Hospital, which was approved by the Regional Government and has been functioning as such. But since then, there has not been any significant improvement in that hospital. This was the first general hospital within the then Mbaitoli/Ikeduru Local Government; it is still a sorry site. And yet Ogwa has not benefited from the new hospital projects scattered in other Local Government Areas by the Owelle Rochas Okorocha administration.
Ogwa was the first in Mbaitoli LGA, to realize a pipe-borne water project in 1961. This was taken over by the government after the war by way of running and paying the staff. Today the water scheme is dilapidated and abandoned. All these go to show that Ogwa people are not lazy. They believe in themselves and do not expect government to do everything for them. All these feats were achieved by the people through communal efforts.
The major problem confronting Ogwa people today is a matter of road network. There is no road in any part of Ogwa in general. This is not a fairy tale. Ogwa has many a time been declared a disaster area because of bad roads and gully erosions in various parts of Ogwa. The only road which linked Ogwa to Orodo from Iho junction was awarded to Iwuanyanwu Construction Company by the former military administration but that contract did not work. When Governor Achike Udenwa came on board, that road was re-awarded to one Eze, the contractor could not perform until that administration left. When Governor Ikedi Ohakim came to power, it was also re-awarded to another contractor. It was in that administration that something tangible was done on that road but still it did not cross into Ogwa. All that we saw was pouring of red mud on it till today. The tarring of the road started at Iho junction but terminated a few poles after Iho Comprehensive Secondary School. The rest o! f the road from that point to Ogwa and then to Orodo through Idem was left un-tarred with attendant problem of flood and erosions in many parts of the road. One cannot imagine any part of Imo State now that its roads are as bad as that of Ogwa in Mbaitoli LGA.
The question now is, is Ogwa part of Imo State? If it is, why is Ogwa suffering from neglect and marginalized by government or is it political victimization? After all, Ogwa people are politically enlightened and we have been voting for our leaders even the President. I am sure that Ogwa people voted for Rochas Anayo Okorocha, the Governor of Imo State and that is the reason he should do something about our roads and even in his political appointments. Will heaven fall, if an Ogwa man or woman becomes a commissioner in this state?
That which is good for the goose is also good for the gander. I therefore use this medium to call on the able-leader of our time, Governor Rochas Anayo Okorocha (OON) to consider Ogwa as one of the important parts of his State that needs urgent attention, more especially on our roads. –
By Uche Enwerem
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