From David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
At least thirty shops were reportedly washed away, with electric poles, underground cables, and water borehole pipes, among others damaged by flooding at Ogbaru Relief (Main) market, Ogbaru Local Government Area, Anambra State.
The Caretaker Committee chairman, Chief David Obidike, who was flanked by a former chairman of the market, Chief Victor Nwawuzie Akirika took his executive members and reporters around the areas that the flood destroyed at the weekend.
He recalled that one of the nights a few days ago the chief security officer of the market called him and told him that a devastating flood from the Awada area was ravaging the market as the flood entered the Sakamori drainage system in the market and uprooted it, thereby wreaking havoc in the market.
“The damage was so much. About ten shops were washed away with their wares in them, and the electric armoured cables, big water borehole pipes and telephone cables buried underground were all exhumed and damaged by the flood.
“As I talk now, we have not gotten power supply for a month now since the rainy season started and you can’t make a call, the market is in blackout and traders are using gen sets.
Our market is now in danger because it is situated in the notorious Upper Iweka axis. These hoodlums can easily come into the market through the damaged portions caused by the erosion menace.
“We thank God that we have a watertight security outfit and since I assumed office as the chairman nobody has reported that his wares have been looted or stolen.
“I plead to our amiable Governor, Professor Charles Soludo and his hard-working Commissioner for Trade and Commerce, Hon. Obinna Ngonadi, including the Federal Government and all the National Assembly members within Ogbaru Federal Constituency to come to our rescue as the extent of damage done is beyond our financial capability.
“We are making this appeal because if the rain comes again more harm will be done to the market let alone if the rainy season is over and nothing tangible done,” he said.
Reacting, Chief Akirika said that the flood has caused very huge devastating erosion sites that affected many shops and this problem started early this rainy season. If nothing is done to it before the end of the rainy season, it will sack everyone in the market.
We urge our Governor to come to our rescue. I remember I worked on a damaged portion when I was the chairman of the market but what we see now is beyond the financial strength of the leadership of the market headed by a God-fearing man, Chief David Obidike.
“The flood is from Awada down to old Aba park and finally to the Ogbo Azu. The foot of the market fly-over between the Relief market and Lagos park is gradually being touched by the erosion, so our Governor and Federal Government should do something now before it becomes too late, ” he said.
In his contribution, the patron of the Relief Market traders Forum, Mr Andrew Oguine, described the market chairman, Obidike as a selfless and Godly person who the State Government fished out to handle the affairs of the market and urged the State government to assist him.
In their various remarks, the executive members that included, Chiefs Obieze Mmaduebuka and Dennis Okeke, lamented that the present situation as it concerned the flooding was giving them sleepless nights.
They called on the government and good-spirited individuals and corporate bodies to come to their rescue.