According to 19th century great philosopher – Aristole, “An unexamined life is not worth living”, in view of this, it has become worrisome on the way and manner most indigenous people of Owerri Capital city is daily abusing the use of blockading the major city roads cum streets in the name of upholding or celebrating one social function or the other. Our man EVEREST EZINE captured the mood of the people.
These actions which have now seem to be a tradition or culture of the people, needs to be rescinded immediately, because of its socio-economic implications on the lives and activities of the people and the society at large. The world is moving progressively and not in retrogression.
It is an obvious truth that Owerri capital city territory is highly populated with lots of human and vehicular activities. The limited streets and roads are equally narrow without enough parking spaces.
The implication is that, most of these indigenous people are now abusing the government permit whether true or false of blocking roads and streets to celebrate the burial of their loved ones, traditional and christen wedding receptions, child naming ceremonies, house dedications, age-grades activities, village and kindred meetings, political meetings etc.
Thus, whenever any of these ceremonies are done which are on daily bases and on different streets and roads of the capital city metropolis, the venues which are mostly, the major streets and roads are blocked with impunity using canopies, seats, musical instruments, participants and invitees vehicles etc, causing serious traffic hold ups in the entire small city. Most annoying is that often time days after the events, the roads or streets are still blocked as the celebrants and their helpers still finds it difficult to remove the things they used for the ceremonies.
Old Owerri city is noted for streets and roads like Whethral, Douglas, Christ Church, Royce, Tetlow, Ihugba, School Road, Njemanze Street, Nwodo Street, Amaigbo Street, Mann Street and Oparanozie Street.
Others are Mere street, Alaenyi Street, Item street, Mbari Street, Lagos Street and Edede Street among the others.
Ironically, all these streets and roads are inter connected, thus once any of them is blockaded, the entire city is affected. Making motorists to spend over two hours to reach their destinations that ordinarily would have been less than five minutes.
Though these have become daily experiences but it is worst on weekends and you hear commuters and passengers murmuring, complaining and at times placing curses and abuses on the host and the state government. All you see on the faces of the people is irritation and frustration. The traffic situation becomes worst off if it rains.
Unfortunately, there are indications that these indigenous celebrants though literate enough but primitively drives joy in seeing the people subjected to untold traffic hold up because of their social activities that led to the closure of the roads and streets.
One of the fundamental implications according to a sociologist is that, the people under such situations are often subjected to an induced psychological and emotional torture, which is also likened to a time bomb that could massively explode unhindered if not urgently and systematically controlled.
Moreso, if there will be a cumulative analysis on the quality time being wasted by the people on traffic jam, the economic implication and revelations will be shocking. Obviously, this one economy indexes that is strangulating the state economy and must be urgently addressed.
The honest truth is that, Owerri city is blessed with so many open fields, schools, churches, stadia, halls, hotels, event centres were programs could be organized without any resident feeling hurt. Unfortunately, most of these indigenous people are ignorantly seeing it from the primordial perceptive that this is their ancestral land and therefore they have the right of abuse. Unknown to them that their rights start were other peoples right stopped.
Let me not sound as an alarmist, this trend is becoming dangerous and if not checked now, it would one day led to spontaneous revolution because Owerri city resident commuters and passengers based on the incidents and their experiences have started having feelings that they have been frustrated and ridiculed enough.
Happily, the present state government being led by Hon. Emeka Ihedioha has his administrative mantra as re-building Imo. It is an obvious truth, that re-building Imo must be anchored and tailored towards proper orientation of the people and this also entails given the indigenous people of Owerri-city a marching order of conducting their social events at the appropriate venues and not on the people’s road and streets. The disadvantages of blocking these roads and streets for social functions seriously outweigh its advantages.
In conformity with the new world order, Imo State is advancing just as its capital territory, the state government through the State Assembly must make a law legislating against using cum blocking city roads and streets for any social function(s).
The state security agencies must be put on alert to stop issuing permit for such activities and any offender must be punished because there must be consequence(s) for any offence.
If Imo State government is truly sincere in its commitment in revamping the state economy, these anti-developmental and barbaric culture of blocking roads and streets for social functions, thereby subjecting greater percentage of the citizenries into untold hardship must be stop with military dispatch.
Sincerely speaking, stoppage of blocking roads and streets in Owerri-city is in the overall interest of the people and the state at large and the mission to stop it is now!