Mrakpor: Doing The Right Thing With Great Compassion

By Fortune Ngozi Onwordi

In carrying out the onerous task of cleaning up the Asaba metropolis, the Director General of Delta State Capital Territory Development Agency, Rt. Hon. Evang. (Mrs.) Joan Onyemaechi Mrakpor has demonstrated the supremacy of dialogue over brute force. While brute force remains the hallmark of Environmental Task Force in many cities of the World, Mrs. Mrakpor has successfully adopted the tactics of skillful dialogue, even while achieving thesame purpose and result, almost to the irritation of her followers. She is never in a hurry and she doesn't send anyone on her behalf to a place where she should visit to have a first hand knowledge of the situation on ground.
No wonder, even after removing some illegal structures, some owners of such structures still have the stomach to sing a song and dance with her. Thereafter, they ask "what type of structure do we put up in order not to deface the Capital Territory"? The success story of dialogue continued when the DG and officials of her Agency visited Chief Onyeobi Street, beside A Division Asaba, on Friday, 1st of November, 2019. After discussing with business owners on government setbacks, along the road why their illegal attachments has to be removed, the Task Force went to work. About 5 hours later, the Women whose structures were removed gathered together to sing and dance with the DG, pledging to abide by the new standard recommended by the Agency.

There is no room for errors as stubborn defaulters who fail to adhere to dialogue are also being prosecuted. In the past two weeks, no fewer than 12 persons were convicted by a mobile court for flouting the extant Delta State Environmental Law.

Similarly, for the past two weeks, during which Mrs. Mrakpor appeared on NTA Asaba, Trend FM Asaba and twice on Bridge FM Asaba, callers expressed satisfaction and encouraged the work to continue. In the previous week, property owners have come to the Agency to report occupants of their property for failing to maintain healthy environmental standard. An example of such instance was the visit of the owner of Charles White Plaza, beside Ogbogonogo Market to the Agency, urging it to seal up own premises until occupants accept to clean it up. Banks, Malls and government office were not left out in the thorough exercise that reawakened environmental consciousness among residents in Asaba.

It will be recalled that the clean up of Asaba and her environs started with a visit to the Asagba's Palace, a townhall meeting which was attended by business and property owners within the Delta State Capital Territory and since then, the dialogue has continued.

Mrakpor, a former House of Reps Member representing Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency, has been dubbed the El Rufai of Asaba and she is not uncomfortable with the comparison. Although the former FCT Minister applied more of brute force than dialogue.
So far, so good!

The Mrakpor approach is a clear demonstration that the right thing can be achieved while still retaining the love and affection of the masses. Worthy of commendation are the heads of other ministries that make up the Joint Task Force On Environment, Asaba traditional Chief, Development Groups and residents of Asaba who have together seen the need to clean up, develop and beautify Asaba and her environs to a status befitting a capital City.

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