Taking a walk round Otuoke during holidays would show that the environment looks very scanty and dull. Businesses don’t flourish and most times are even closed because of low or no patronage at all.
The student community makes up 80percent of the total population in Otuoke presently, so it won’t be out of place if one says that the students are the pillars of economic activities in Otuoke.
Once there’s a holiday that warrants students travelling, the community will become deserted and this leads to a lack of business and economic activities. Sometimes I wonder how some people cope here during that period because the boring nature can make one do silly things.
Without the students of Federal University Otuoke, Otuoke community and the neighbouring communities are not a place to be because everything becomes paused or moves at a slow pace until students return to make it burble.
My pain though is that despite knowing all these facts, it seems as if the students are being exploited purposely due to the high cost of living ranging from the high accommodation prices, high cost of goods and services (including local farm produce) we face and all we get in return if we complain is that there’s no access road (which again is very sad, owing to the fact that a personality like Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is a local), no basic amenities, go and build your own house etc.
I want to use this opportunity to appeal to the community leaders to find ways of building a more long-lasting and harmonious relationship with the student community because they can attest to the fact that the Otuoke of today is different from the Otuoke of 4 years ago.
We have contributed immensely to the development of the area and as such we should be provided with a conducive environment where the locals see us as the reason why their communities are being exposed and gradually changing to a city (whether now or in the future).
Of cause I’m not ignorant of the fact that the government has a lot to do in this area starting from the provision of good motorable roads, constant electricity and security; but all these still boils down to the immediate will power of the community leaders at all helms. Otuoke can be better with faster development if everyone buys the vision.