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Uromi: Our Blessed Home

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By SYLVERSTER ORIABURE

Ever since I can remember, Uromi used to be a beehive of activities with Inhabitants of neighbouring towns and villages taking advantage of this busy environment to shop, socialize, make repairs of all sorts, and even board taxis to such more developed cities as Benin, Lagos, Ibadan etc. My thinking as a little boy was that Uromi would soon blossom to the status of such places like aforementioned. I started to imagine that before I attain the age of marriage, my place would have become such a wonderful place to behold with industries, tertiary institutions, good roads, pipe borne water etc. The reason for this laudable imagination was because I had the opportunity of traveling around and about this country very early in life hence I was able to capture the picture in my minds eye of what my place will look like in the very near future perhaps because of my findings during these trips.

Unfortunately, more than three decades after, there is nothing significant on ground to show any improvement in the lives of the people of our place. Portable water, which was available during the seventies and early eighties, is non-existent. In parts of Uromi, the people still use alum to fitter water derived from ponds while others who can afford it buy from tanker drivers who source theirs directly from streams and rivers in the neighbouring towns and villages. Surveys have revealed that a lot of Uromi people suffer too often from typhoid fever occasioned by drinking untreated water from ponds, streams and rivers. The question is how many villages do we have in Uromi and what does it cost to have a borehole in each village when individuals could afford to do same in their homes irrespective of depth of water table? For example, if we have twenty-five (25) villages and it costs two million Naira (N2,000,000.00) to have one, then it boils down to meaning that Fifty Million Naira (N50,000,000.00) would nave been enough to give our people water to drink and eradicate sickness and diseases to a very tolerable level. Why has it been impossible all these years for administrators of our Local Government to do anything in this direction? I hear that moves are on to provide water for the and I said may God Almighty bless the initiators of such an important project, but we are waiting. Seeing is believing!

Today, there is no tertiary institution in the whole of Uromi, not even a satellite campus of such establishment. No college of education, Polytechnic or University. I hear also that a neighbouring town with which Uromi shares boundary can be proud of a polytechnic and a school of nursing today. Who ever did that would have left his footprints in the sand of time after he has served here on earth.

Outsiders irrespective of ethnic affiliations will seize the opportunity and enroll in these institutions and sooner than later, what we have witnessed at Ekpoma will repeat itself here. The place will become a beehive of commercial activities and like Ekpoma, Uromi sons and daughters will troop there in their numbers to seek for admission and job opportunities. The importance of a tertiary institution to the rapid development of a place cannot be over emphasized. e.g. Ekpoma, Abraka, Oghara etc.

Indigenous graduates from various institutions across the country are forced to seek greener pasture elsewhere while other damn the consequences of crossing the ocean to seek the golden fleece abroad. I understand that lots of Uromi people within and outside Nigeria have the financial muscle and influence to attract these institutions to this place but I am constrained to know why the situation on ground has deteriorated to the present state. If God has blessed you, why not extend your hand of fellowship by making life more meaningful for your people? If you are in position to make things happen positively in the lives of your people, why not do anything humanly possible to alleviate and elevate the plight of your people? All fingers are not equal and God has a purpose for putting you in your present position. It’s definitely necessary for you to leave a legacy for posterity.

I gathered from a reliable source that so many years ago, the only town that could nearly compare favorably with Benin City in this part of our region was Uromi. Now, what has happened to our place? According our elders “The man at the front cannot be behind” I prefer to think that we are making progress. Our people are not helpless but they just look on. It is unfortunate that during this age it has not downed on people that the world is a stage where all men and women are mere players. They have their entrances and exits. One man in his lifetime plays many roles and no matter how good or bad these part are played, history never fails to accord them the right place in its annals. Such is evident of Late Prof. Ambrose Folorunsho Alli. He never owned any edifice. He lived with the people, for the people and died for the people. He never accumulated wealth for himself. “Power is absolutely nothing if your people are suffering.” But for Ambrose Alli ,many graduates today both in Edo and Delta States would have been stranded in life.

Well, painful as these shortcomings might be, what man cannot change, God certainly can even within seconds. Whoever is constituting nuisance to the overall development of Uromi will never escape the wrath of God Almighty. “The evil that men do lives after them”. When a man lives alone, he live in vain but when he lives for others he certainly live again. The real pain is that a lot of concerned citizens of Uromi are not financially disposed to change any thing presently but God knows and sees the heart of man.

I am looking forward to the day when intending political office seekers will be made to stand in the alter of God or swear before the elders of our place and like Prof. Dora Akunyili, ask the thunder of God to fall them if they siphon public funds instead of serving or representing the people of our place with precision. As awkward as this angle might sound it is capable of sieving the chaff from the grains and development will come to Uromi significantly.

Particularly, heart-warming is the resilience and hard working nature of Uromi people. This has endeared us to all and sundry. Perhaps this informed the reasons why the Uromi people are sometimes refereed to as the Igbo of Esan land. This is the sustaining power of the average Uromi indigene till date. There are pockets of self help here and there but are not enough to impact meaningfully on the lives of the generality of the people. We cannot construct roads for ourselves, provide pipe born water, build tertiary institutions, industries, repair gullied roads etc without assistance from relevant authorities. These among others, are what we are craving for except there is a grand design somewhere, somehow to side track our people consistently in the scheme of things.

Also of note is the respect accorded us anywhere we went. For instance, I was discussing with a top military officer some years back and while the discussion lasted, he said that Uromi people are power brokers within our region and Nigeria as a whole. He also added that the history of how Nigeria got her independence would not be complete without a respectful mention of Uromi. I agreed with him and also asked him if it would have been out of place for the government to acknowledge this by changing that mere respectful mention of Uromi as a result of the arrow contribution of Chief Anthony Enahoro during pre-independence time to respectful provision of infrastructures at least to reflect some level of appreciation and recognition. He also agreed with me and said that Nigerians don’t appreciate the contribution of their people while still alive.

I felt very sorry for this country. I won’t know if things would have been different if Chief Anthony Enahoro had come from other ethnic region. I thought Nigeria and Nigerians must imbibe the spirit of celebrating great achievers among us while still alive. The attitude of eulogizing and celebrating achievers after death is very unfortunate and must be discarded.

However and honestly, I started to assume a superior air over him despite his khaki and felt taller than my actual height because that is our place and our home and he just said the truth. Who won’t be happy to hear such good things said about his people? But as soon as I disembarked from his car, it suddenly dawned on me that these accolade are not reflective on the live of the people of Uromi. The euphoria of that compliment suddenly died down and I went into my apartment to watch a comedy program as consolation

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Name: PRINCE OLIGBI CHARLES JNR

Subject: Uromi My Home in Home

Message: Is with of a Great Joy in My heart to read this edition of your writeup and may God Bless you and people like you that are contributing in no way to the success and development of our Great Town.

In Your Highlight i be please to let you know that power shared by a common people will resolve to no effect, with people of this coming age growing up like me i did bet you that in a couple of five to six years that we the children of this great land will bring the world to our home uromi.

It is unfortunate that the Government has failed to rcognised the present of our Man Tony Enahora even after his death but today in the name of indepedent we will always remember him. I want you to know that the government unfailing to develop our town is all because of our own elderstate man if the avent of Tony Eineneh with is a Micrant to the Nation.

After all said and done i which to use this medium to say a very big thank you to you that you are having my home uromi at heart, I am 21 a graduate of political Science from the renow university of Edo State, People Live and People Die but there are people who live and die but never die in the ascent of Ambrose Alli.

God Bless Nigeria
God Bless Edo State
God Bless You
God Me and God Bless UROMI MY HOME IN HOME.

IF I FORGET THE SUFFERRING OF MY PEOPLE UROMI WHEN EVER I HAD A MEANS TO HELP THEM MAY MY CLOAK WITHIN MY VAIN.

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