Editorial

THE RECONSTRUCTION OF OWERRI ROADS

Despite the grumbling over the knocking off of people’s frontages and small road-side businesses, Owerri roads already look elegant and nice wider without the job being completed yet. Imo Government is actually trying in its bid to change the face of Owerri city for the better.
But this is happening at a great cost. As a result of the widening of roads, a lot of people have been displaced from their shanty residencies and business outposts or locations. There was a choice to be made between the people’s livelihood and welfare and the structural beautification of the environment. The government has chosen to make the roads wider than keep the shanties where massive economic activities take place.
People will find it difficult to agree with that choice that compromises the welfare and survival of human beings. If the widening of roads was an absolute necessity, provision should have been made for displaced people to relocate to where their families and businesses would stay comfortably and contribute to the economy. They want to be integrated in dense population centers where their small retail enterprises can thrive.
As this has not been done before embarking on the widening of the roads, we advice that something creative be put into action to close this gap and reduce the hardship that is ravaging Imo state and creating poverty all over the place.
The class of people displaced by the on- going road construction are a factor of considerable economic value. They also provide social services that make life worth living.
Any policy that tends to neglect these people and their worth in the society will be counterproductive in the end. We must provide for them. The Rescue mission must rescue people as well as things, but people first.

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