The caretaker committee government headed by the
chairman, Ika North East local government area, Prince Ijenwa Okunonke is
blazing the trail in environmental sanitation. This is one area out of the
three point programmes of the Delta State government. From Memeh to Convent to
Obaigbena to Okobi Streets and many others, the environment is devoid of
refuse. The previous black spot at Onyibe Street by Abraka road junction is now
wearing a new look. However, Ebu Owa market along Owa Ekei road in the heart of
Boji-Boji Owa still yearns for  major

       For how
long the owners of this market will effect the 
rebuilding of it remains to be seen. The government of Ika Northeast
local area deserves commendation for showing exemplary leadership in making
sure that our people in this area enjoy filth free environment which is one of
the many benefits of an articulate, responsive and responsible leadership. It
is true that there is no prefect government; however, when political leaders
like Hon Ijenwa Okunonke is performing within the constrains of governmental
limitations to the expectations or admiration of her people, It would not be
out of place to shower praises for a job well 
done? In an era where political leaders are cold hearted behaving with
crass lawlessness and palpable impunity in the discharge of their mandate; in
an era where godfatherism has debased sane political leadership, relegating the
very essence of our governance to accumulating money meant for the sustenance
of peoples well being, little by little of good acts in leadership can never go
unnoticed. We believe and hope that  the
democratic experiment we as a people have chosen will  ultimately yield good fruit as we do well to
check the way government dispenses leadership, good or bad. To some people who
read political innuendos to issues they might not really believe that from
Owa-Alero to Owa Oyibu, Ute-Okpu, Otolokpo, Umunede, Ekwuoma and Akumazi, there
was no black spot as regards refuse in all these areas. What use is a
government that  doesn’t yield to  issues of developmental  importance compared with one that makes life
better for its people. Local government administration is affected with some
limitations now that revenue is disbursed from state government to local
governments. We know that this is only a phase of what local government
administration should be like compared with what should hold sway in Nigeria.
Soonest, when local government will gain autonomy, persons in the caretaker
committee under the leadership of Hon 
Ijenwa Okunonke will no doubt have the greater opportunity to further
express their leadership abilities. For leaders who lead well and for those who
defraud the people, the immutability of the law of God to dispense blessing and
malediction remains unshaken. The circumstance of life has given leaders power
to lead and in the exercise of their mandate, great consideration for the
people must be given high regard in the dispense of the dividends of democracy.
And this goes beyond refuse management; that whenever we find ourselves in
positions of authority, we must perform to the peoples expectations.

Okunonke has no doubt  performed
creditably well with regards to refuse evacuation. Will it be sustained? Even
though there are grey areas, we believe that these grey areas will be addressed
with the passing of time judging from her present endevours. The council
secretariat in Owa-Oyibu  is a visitors
delight with a decent and serene environment as we found the state of refuse at
the seat of government a good example of cleaningness  unlike what it was before the swearing in of
the present adminisration , the except for surrounding weeds at the back of the
buildings. The two refuse bins in use were in an orderly state. From there we
proceeded to Owa-Alero and Ute-Okpu. It was only at Ogbe Market and the Morning
Market both at Umunede where market women expressed their appreciation to the
council for being responsive to refuse evacuation.

According to the Ogbe Youths Association chairman, Friday Oshido, said
“we are very happy for the removal of refuse at the Ogbe market. The market is
too large for the little refuse bins placed here. For some now, the evacuation
has been regular. We are appealing to the council to be more regular in
evacuating refuse because of the health of the people. The government
should  also remember Umunede as regard
development. Ogbe market is the biggest market in Umunede. I want to use this
medium thank  the HOD Environment in the
Ika North East local government area for responding to the letter we wrote on
the removal of refuse.”

Iwehimo thanked the government for clearing refuse regularly. Refuse evacuation
where the bins are positioned is regular. We want to business investors to
invest here in Umunede to generate economic activities. We need a boost in
commercial activities here. Also, this market needs a face lift. We plead with
the council to rebuild the market  with
good toilets. This market is very big, government should make it secure. There
is a heap of refuse inside the market uncleared. We urge them to clear it.” she

Mrs.Felicia Mbiribo was very happy to receive  Ika Weekly team as she thanked the council
for  coming to remove the waste. “The
refuse was only removed a few days ago. For this we thank the council. They
really delayed this time removing the refuse.

     It is very
much unlike them. I also want to use this opportunity to advise fellow market
users to always dispose refuse well as against throwing it on the way side.”

modern market was also without refuse. When we got to Akumazi we found two
refuse bins outside the market and in clean surroundings.

journey of a thousand miles they say begins with a step. The political dynamics
of our society is changing and so must all leaders who want to be relevant to
their people.

soon,  political leaders who read out
scripts from their godfathers will be swept away by the wind of change that is
about to sweep the landscape of Ika land come 2015 when only credible and
kindhearted leaders will hold the reigns of power. All stakeholders in Ika land
and particularly in Ika Northeast must impress upon the heart and mind of the
leadership of the council to push forward all developmental programmes of Dr.
Emmanuel Uduaghan to its logical conclusion.

Hon. Okunonke is the caretaker committee chairman of Ika North east. Will she
live an enduring legacy that posterity will remember her for. The answer is in
working assiduously to develop her domain. She has a choice to either  be an empty big tree or a beautiful little
shrub. The greatest failure is to stop trying. Never give up. Persist. The
difficulties and struggles of today are but the best price you must pay for the
accomplishment and victory of tomorrow. Don’t be dismayed or  discouraged with the failure of any of your
endevours for it is more honourable to try and fail than not trying at all. You
have come this far working to clean your area. Our people are happy with you
and your committee members who must keep working to see refuse management done
the way it should be done for the greater good of our people. Sail on.

Editors note: We wish to inform the two Ika councils
and the general public that our continuos assessment and monitoring of refuse
avacuation in Ika nation is an on going exercise. We will therefore appreciate
any good suggestion from any quarter to help us rid Ika nation of filth for
which we were known for.

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