Onitsha, Ogbaru residents rename Okpoko “New Heaven”, following massive transformation

By Okey Maduforo

Residents of Onitsha North, Onitsha South and Ogbaru local government areas of Anambra state have changed the name of Okpoko, one of the towns in the Council Area to “New Heaven” following the massive road construction and provision of major utility infrastructures by the state government.

Okpoko before the advent of Gov Soludo was known as a celebrated slump and swampy Getto where miscreants and most low life members of the society reside and it is noted for the absence of basic infrastructure and a conveyer of communicable diseases, with the attendant spread of cholera and tuberculosis epidemic in the area.

During the perennial flooding, homes and buildings are usually submerged through the canals and drains blocked by mountains of refuse dumps and sanitary wastes from most homes that are without toilet facilities.

Soludo at inception had announced that he would fold his sleeves immediately after being sworn into office commence the urban regeneration and reclaiming of Okpoko town .

At major parks in Okpoko this weekend the Keke Tricycle operators were dutifully correcting road users and commuters that the town is no longer Okpoko but New Heaven following the rate of Infrastructural development in the area.

Mr Cosmas Eboatu , a Keke operator said ;. “That name Okpoko belong to the past when this pace was hell but today things have changed and you can see our roads ; smooth and well constructed and there is no more gallops and potholes”

Anselm Nwauche a patient medicine store owner recalled that in the past he was in big business ad the unhealthy environment made his business very lucrative but was quick to add that the though the new state of Okpoko has affected his market it has however given the residents a new lease of life.

Checks investigations revealed that Okpoko now enjoys pipe borne water located at major central residential and commercial areas whole over sixteen major roads are either completed or are nearing completion.

Similarly the local vigilante groups at Okpoko are to be provided with more operational vehicles and personnel in order to improve security of lives and property in the area.

Recently Gov Soludo commissioned the first General hospital in the town constructed by his administration and employed medical personnel to man the health facility in the area.

Speaking with the Commissioner for Works Engr Ifeanyi Okeoma he noted that it is not a surprise that the residents of the town has renamed it New Heaven in view of the growing Infrastructural development in the area.

“This was a deliberate action of the governor to regenerate and reclaim the urban area called Okpoko and we are going to do more roads and you can see for yourself that those blocked drains and canals have been opened and now when it rains the water flows through into the River Niger “

“We have also put in place solar street lights along major highbrow areas and major market areas in Okpoko and as more roads are being constructed street lights would be provided which is part of the contract agreement for those roads ” he said.

He however urged residents in the area to try to sustain the built up environment of the town and protect those basic Infrastructures provided by government.

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