Benin City — Residents of Obaseki Street, Oregbeni, Benin City, Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area, Edo State, have complained to Governor Godwin Obaseki to urgently come to their aid over the menace of gully erosion, which they described as a deathtrap in the area.
A visit by NDV to the area revealed that the gully erosion has sacked many property owners and rendered the street un-motorable.
Govt paid deaf ears to our plight-- Bello
Secretary, Landlords and Landladies group in the area, Mr Imasuen Bello, who have lived there since 1985, attributed the gully erosion that has made the street uninhabitable to occupants to negligence by both past and present administrations of the state.
He said: "This gully was not here when I came, the street was very motorable. But when it started we cried out and government never listened to us. We, on our own, have been carrying out palliative measures to rehabilitate the street, that is why people can still trek through the street.
"Look at the gutter we did. We have always done our best, but it did not work. We cried to our neighbouring company, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Benin, to assist us to solve this problem as part of its community relations.
"We even went as far to the Palace of the Oba of Benin, who gave directive to the company to rehabilitate the street and two others in the area, but Guinness abandoned our street.
Travails despite Obaseki's intervention
"The present government sent officials from the Ministries of Infrastructure and Environment and Sustainability; they came to see the street, but up till now there is nothing to show for it.
"We are suffering here, you can see some house are already caving in. We do not even know how and what we will do when the raining season we start. Few months ago a little boy was found inside the gully, swept by erosion and died inside."
File disappears at govt ministry
Elder Joe Ereoah and other inhabitants lambasted the government for saying that the file used in evaluating the street by the officials of Ministry Environment and Sustainability has developed wings.
"We went to Ministry Environment and Sustainability, they told us the file is missing after the approval by the governor. They told us that; we did not see the file," he asserted.
NDV's efforts to get comment from the affected ministries were abortive at press time.