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Abuja: Suffering in the midst of affluence

15 June 2016, 13:52

Asokoro is one of the biggest cities in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT); a highbrow area said to be exclusively preserved for the rich, with sophisticated, state-of-the-art buildings and beautifully laid-out streets; a secure, organized and clean environment.

Situated in the heart of Asokoro is a small community known as Kpaduma village, which was originally founded by Gbagyi- speaking people over 100 years ago, but now consists of people from various ethnic groups in Nigeria. History According to the history of this community, many decades ago there was a forest with a tree which had a shape like a human face on it; called ‘Kpaduma’ in the Gbagyi language.

The tree was the tallest in the forest and was said to heal several ailments, causing people to come from far and near to cut from it. Gradually people began to settle in the area and it eventually became a community. That was how the community got its name, from the tree Kpaduma.

However, a visit to the community by some observers revealed that Kpaduna community suffers from a lack of basic needs, from poor roads to no access to electricity, pipe-borne water, primary healthcare centres, schools and basic security, despite the surrounding development in Asokoro city “How can anybody believe that there are people living in the city of Asokoro without good access road, pipe bore water, electricity health centre, schools and security? “Several times we have made efforts to the government to extend these developments in the city of Asokoro into this community but all effort has yielded no result.

“Our children are suffering, because there are no schools in the community. The only one we have is across the road and our children have been knocked down by cars severally. More so, the private schools owned by the rich are located in Asokoro city which is far from this community and are also very expensive for us to afford. “We are really suffering in this community. All we are asking is that the government should remember us. Neglecting us this way is not good. I believe we are all Nigerians and are entitled to basic amenities,” Mallam said.

Bad roads leading to the Samuel Joseph, a youth in the community, lamented the current situation. He said: “Youths of this community has been on the fore front over the years for a solution to these problems because it concerns lives of people who cannot afford a private hospital in the city of Asokoro.

“The only government hospital in Asokoro is far from this community and always very populated because people come from far and near to the hospital. I believe we are supposed to have a primary health centre here to attend to emergency issues. Not when there is an emergency one will drive far to Asokoro general hospital. What if it happens at night? What is our faith?

“Although electricity has been brought to some part of the community due to our persistence and effort, it is yet to go round the community, which means some people don’t have electricity in their homes. “We are therefore calling on the government to come to our aid and bring us out of this punishment,” Joseph said.

The community is also faced with water shortages and some residents rely on water vendors to get water. “We have just one bore hole in the community where people get water. Some of us have to buy from water vendors,” Jane Nwankpa, a resident, said Some of the residents believe that the erosion can be prevented if the roads are repaired and waterways constructed. Ayo Adedayo, a taxi driver who plies the bad roads daily, said the condition of the roads has resulted in fewer taxis coming into the community.

“The way the community is neglected is the reason why refuse are dumped indiscriminately. The community leaders have made several effort to make the Abuja Environmental Protection Board bring waste bins into the community but nothing has been done. The erosion also should be looked into before it destroys properties and lives. “We are pleading to the FCT administration to provide waste bins so that people can have where to dump their refuse. The government also should please make the roads look like other roads within Asokoro city.

“I believe we all as Nigerians are supposed to enjoy the same benefits, not some group of people enjoying and others suffering,” Adedayo added. Kpaduma community is really in dire need of the government’s intervention to address these problems “Good road network is very necessary because it brings development into a community like this.

We ask that the government look into this and more people will be encouraged to develop the community,” Orji said.

Joel Mallam Dan Fenu, a youth in the community, also told NAIJ.com that there is a need to deploy more security operatives to the community to prevent the theft of residents’ belongings and money.

- MyNews24

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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