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Governor Ugwuanyi and Awgu Caves

By Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

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Below is the published order given by His Excellency Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State:

“Gov. Ugwuanyi also visited the Ihe-Agbogugu-Ogbaku-Amurri and Isu-Awaa-Agbudu forests in the same local government area, ordering the immediate demolition of Agbogugu and Isu-Awaa-Agbudu caves to enhance the security of the areas.”

I hope that ElombahNews misrepresented Mr. Ugwuanyi’s order. I believe that what his Excellency said was to clear the caves of the bandits who use the caves to escape or plan their nefarious actions against the society.

There many ways to clear the bandits. One way is to use the caves as traps. Since we know that the bandits use this space the governor could increase the surveillance of these place and catch them alive and with their loot and prosecute them. They will then pay the cost of their infamous acts.

The government could mount surveillance camera around the area and record their every movement. In a country where electricity is sensitive, this could be a tall order, but it could be tried.

The existence of cameras would at least signal to the criminals that somebody could be watching them and reduce that use of the caves. If we know where the criminals are any effective police should be able to deal with them.

Demolishing the caves will in no way curtail any criminal activity. If they cannot use a cave they can use empty buildings of which abound aplenty in Enugu State or rather throughout SE region.

Demolishing the caves is equivalent to burning the house down in order to stop illegal activities going on in the house. Only stupid people do that.

I recall what happened in the 60’s along Nigerian highways. At that time there were trees planted along the high ways to provide shades. Many times motor operators would hit the trees and people would die. The solution? The government cut down the trees on the pretext that the trees cause accidents.

Imagine!

The trees were not moving. The cars/trucks hit a non-moving tree and the tree was killed for “causing an accident.”

Mr. Ugwuanyi’s current order is very comparable.

Caves were either man made or a natural thing and have served many purposes in the world. They have served as a repository of history. Many a civilization has recorded their history in caves and archeologists have reconstructed the past using evidence that abound in caves. The Awgu caves have not yet received intense study and we do not know what information is lurked in there.

Caves have attracted many visitors when developed. Is Mr. Ugwuanyi attempting to destroy possible tourist places in his state by pretending that he is pursuing security? We can achieve security without destroying a tourist attraction.

The best way to teach anybody what a cave is to take him/her there. If kids visit a cave, they will be able to record what they have seen in wonderful prose or poetry, for caves have inspired such writings in the past. The Awgu caves could still accomplish this feat.

If Mr. Ugwuanyi loves Awgu people that much what he ought to do is help preserve the resources in the region and these caves are part of God’s gift to Awgu people. He should stop using a photo up that enlarges his ego to destroy a peoples’ gift from God.

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba
Boston, Massachusetts

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