By Chijindu Emeruwa
The Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly Rt. Hon. Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji has attracted the construction and reconstruction of multiple road projects to Amuzukwu Ibeku, a bustling community in Umuahia North LGA.
Recall that after attending the Bawas/Doris Folake Uche Free Medical Outreach in the community on December 10 last year, and moved by the condition of the roads, the Speaker had vowed to “mobilise resources to grade your internal roads before the 25th of this month”.
As at yesterday, Friday, January 29, facts on ground indicate that the Speaker has not only kept his words of grading the roads but in the words of the residents, “has been supporting us in so many other ways”.
A visit to the community shows that several roads in the community have already been done courtesy of the Speaker, and that the construction is of high quality.
When we visited the community yesterday, we were mobbed by the visibly elated indigenes and residents of the community who thanked the Speaker profusely for extending his quality leadership to them and for keeping his words.
“When Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji made that promise late last year, we knew he would do it because he has always been a man of his words but what we didn’t know was that he would do this much with such quality. We are grateful”, enthused Mrs Eunice Ibe, a resident of the area.
Interjecting, a teacher and resident of the community, Mr Kelechi Nduka thanked both the Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu and the Speaker, Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji, “for this rare dividends of democracy we are enjoying today because we have heard so much about how the two of them, the Executive and the Legislative Arms of Government of the State, are working together, in synergy to better our lives. And these multiple roads being done in our community are evidence of that fact. We are grateful; we are also praying for them that they will go even higher in their endeavours”, he said.
On his part, President General of Amuzukwu Autonomous Community, Chief Sir P.I. Nweke thanked the Speaker immensely, saying the people of Amazukwu have never had it so good before.
“Before now, this Umuokoo Road (one of the roads in the community) was impassible and the residents therefore had it very tough. But today the story has changed! One can even drive his car or tricycle into his abode with no stress; my people are very happy and it’s a thing of great joy for us that the Speaker made a promise to construct these roads and in less than 48 hours after, work began in earnest. We are very grateful! We also pray that God continue to strengthen him and our dear Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu. Amuzukwu has always been theirs and we will continue to support them”, Chief Nweke said.
Hon Chidiebere Nmesirionye, the Councillor representing Urban Ward 2, who was so excited he described himself as “the luckiest person ever because this magnificent projects are being done under my tenure as Councillor. We’ve never had it so good”, he enthused.
Continuing, Nmesirionye said, “As you can see, our people are very happy; they have been expressing their joy and are very much impressed with the Speaker. The people of Amuzukwu Autonomous Community are making a vow today to continue to support the Speaker as we have always done because the Speaker has shown us so much love”, he concluded.
In her own reaction, Mrs Chinatu Nathan a resident and petty trader in Umuezearota Amuzukwu said she really lacked the proper words to describe how she felt over the construction of the internal roads in Amuzukwu.
Mrs Nathan who operates a provision store said before now that it was an uphill task to make her desired sales in a day because the road leading to her shop was so bad that even residents close to her would rather go the distance to buy their needs at the other side of the community whose roads were also barely passable but better than the ones leading to her residence where she also run her provision store. According to her, such a trend had negative impacts on her business. She also recalled that tricycle operators always stopped passengers residing in their own part of the community some miles away while they trekked from there to their respective abodes because the road was so bad it was simply unpassable. “But today, the story has changed, and I want to sincerely thank the Speaker whom I learnt attracted the project to us. Since this road was done, businesses in the area have picked up; tricycle operators now happily come into the community to drop off their passengers.
“Who would have believed that, living in the far end of Amazukwu, that someone like the Speaker would have remembered and considered doing our road for us? As he has attracted these roads to Amazukwu, it is our prayer that the Almighty God continue to bless him and our Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu more abundantly in Jesus name”, she prayed.
While speaking about the project, Engr Emeka Ezeanyagu, the Executive Director of Pumeco Construction Company, an indigenous company handling the road projects in Amuzukwu Community, said the company have concluded the construction of Umuokoo and Umuwaya internal roads in Amuzukwu and was almost done with the reconstruction of Amuzukwu to Umuezeagwu road. When asked if that would be all the company would be doing concerning the Speaker’s projects, he replied that upon completion of the Amuzukwu Road Saturday, (today), that the company would move its equipment to Umueze and Afara also in the Speaker’s Constituency for more construction of roads as contracted.
He narrated how the people of Amuzukwu have been so happy with the level of work done so far on their roads, saying they have been expressing gratitude to the Speaker and the Governor over it even while they were working.
“This is not a political statement but the truth because before now these roads were so bad that they were impassable for vehicles. But today, the story is completely different; the quality of the road now is superb judging from the bitumen content of the asphalt the company is using on the roads”, Engr Emeka Ezeanyagu said and thanked “the Speaker for being a blessing to his people”.
Relating his feedback from the people, the PDP Chairman Urban Ward 2, Hon Eme Odeghe said he is overjoyed that his tenure is enjoying the most beautiful atmosphere and dividends of democracy from the Speaker.
“This is exactly what we bargained for and we are grateful we have a personality like Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji who knows the worth of quality representation in the House of Assembly.
“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in our Ward have been receiving a whole lot of accolades because of the new development and members of the opposition in the area are diving in and collapsing their structures into that of the PDP. The Speaker had done numerous projects in our Constituency before now and we are not so surprised because dishing out dividends of democracy to his people is one thing you cannot take away from him”, he said.
The Urban Ward 2 PDP Chairman further recalled how the Speaker had attended a Health Empowerment program in the area in December 2020 and promised to get the internal roads in Amuzukwu fixed, “It wasn’t up to two days after the Speaker made that pronouncement that this work commenced; Urban Ward 2 has always supported the Speaker since his involvement in active politics and we will continue to give him maximum unalloyed support. The Speaker emphatically told us during the 2019 elections campaign to DELIVER AND BE DELIVERED; we delivered him, and today, he is delivering for us; we are seeing the good works because we delivered. Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji is not someone that will promise and not fulfill, what is going on today is a testament to that fact”, he said.
Continuing, Hon Odeghe said the entire Ward will always be in the front to support the Speaker politically and otherwise. “He is a good man”, he said. “Not only on delivering dividends of democracy to his people, he has also always been a shoulder that holds the head of every downcast person in this Constituency. He has always touched souls and God will continue to empower and sustain him”, Hon Odeghe concluded.
Chief Charles Nmesirionye Amajor, an Indigene of Umuezearota in Amuzukwu said he was amazed when he saw the level of work being done in his area. “The first day I saw heavy equipment being brought in here to commence the construction of this road, my spirit simply told me that the Speaker must have been involved in it because of his antecedents and today my thoughts are proven to be very correct”, he said.
Chief Amajor narrated how Keke operators before now had treated them like they “reside in a forbidden area by dropping off their passengers who reside in the area some way off because of the very bad roads forcing them to trek some distance to their respective homes from the point of alighting. But now the story is different”, he said happily.
Moved by the work, Chief Amajor went into profuse prayers for the Speaker and asked God to continue to bless him and his family and take him to higher heights for remembering them with such a life changing project.
Mrs Amajor who was in company of her husband said she never expected this huge transformation of their area in this short while, saying “it is still like a dream”. She reemphasized how Keke operators treated them because of the bad roads but today the Keke operators are always on the lookout for passengers going towards Ukwu Ugba which, according to her, was the worst of all the very bad spots before now. She thanked the Speaker and urged him to be steadfast as the women of Amuzukwu Autonomous Community were praying for him.
Another resident of Umuezearota in Amuzukwu, Mr ThankGod Ukachukwu who also owns a provision store in the area thanked the Speaker for coming to their aid.
“For a long time now, indigenes and residents of this area have really suffered enough because of the bad roads but today we are rejoicing because the Speaker has remembered us”, he said.
The provision store operator further said that businesses in the area are already experiencing boon and the value of properties has increased appreciably as prospective tenants were already coming around in their numbers to scout for available spaces.
At Umuwaya, another area in Amuzukwu whose roads were also tarred courtesy of the Speaker, Mr Ikeadi Eleazar, the Youth President of Umuwaya said the youths of the community in particular and all the people in general are still seeing the total construction of their road as a miracle.
He extolled the Speaker and thanked him especially for attracting the construction of Umuwaya MbaraUkwu Link Road, saying the people of Umuwaya in Amuzukwu Autonomous Community had long taken a stand to always support and be with him in all his political endeavors.
“Politics is simply a give and take affair and Rt Hon Engr Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji, the Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, has kept to his promises and it’s now left for us to do what we are expected to do and we have already taken a decision on that; we will wait till the time is right so we can show out our gratitude to him right there in the political field”, Mr Eleazar said.
A septuagenarian, Elder Emeka Iroha, an Indigene of Umuwaya Community who was eager to lay bare his mind concerning the road projects said he is simply overwhelmed by the outstanding performances of the Speaker in the House of Assembly and with his constituents. According to him, “This is the first time Umuwaya Community roads are being constructed since the creation of the world. It is the same with most of the roads being done right now in Amuzukwu. If he could do this as Speaker, what will he not do when God takes him higher? We are indeed happy with him. May he continue to find political favours before God and before man. And may God will continue to bless him and his household for putting smiles on our faces, and laughter shall never depart from his home”, Elder Iroha prayed.
Comrade Chikatara Wisdom who is a youth leader in one of the hamlets in Umuwaya Community simply said the antecedents and good will and works of the Speaker to them is inscribed indelibly in their hearts and that they will surely reciprocate when the time comes.
Chief Charles Darlington Uwanuakwa one of the leaders of Umuwaya Community said he is very much happy that this huge transformation happened in his generation.
“Engr Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji has impacted the true meaning of democracy into our community. In fact, we are enjoying the real fruits of democracy. if you look directly opposite me, you will see our massive community Hall there, Ikukuoma Abia is the initiator and sponsor of that gigantic project”, Chief Uwanuakwa proudly said.
He said the Speaker have fulfilled the promises he made to the good people of Umuwaya Community, and that the newly constructed Umuwaya Link Road is a clear indication that dividends of democracy have come to stay in Umuwaya Community. He advised other politicians in other Constituencies to emulate the Speaker and bring the fruits of good governance to their people.
Meanwhile, Chief Uwanuakwa has sent a humble plea to the Speaker to visit their Community soon as the people of Umuwaya, his second home, have sirely missed him.
“All these days, we have been watching him on television, hearing about him, his good works and the Assembly on radio, but now, we want to be with him, feel and interact with him”; Chief Uwanuakwa requested.
On his part, Chief Okechukwu Ndukwe, the Chairman of Abia State Estate Development Agency (ABSEDA) said his people are so proud of the numerous achievements of the Speaker, and that the construction of the internal roads in the community simply proves that the Speaker has this genuine love for his people. He further said vast opportunities have been created in the area because the community is now very accessible and businesses in the area will experience a massive turnaround. The ABSEDA Chief however advised the people of Amuzukwu Autonomous Community not to relent in their support for the Speaker as more dividends of democracy are on the way.
Comrade Eke Chukwuma a youth representative from Urban Ward 2 thanked God for the gift of life He gave to Rt Hon Engr Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji and for the kind of heart he blessed him with emphasising that, following the antecedents of Mr Speaker, as genetous and public spirited man, he was not expecting anything less from him, and “that’s why I personally call him EKWUEME ABIA.
Comrade Chukwuma further said that the Speaker have not for once hesitated in keeping his campaign promises.
“I’m highly impressed but not surprised with what is going on in our Ward today because our Ward had not seen such dividends of democracy. This is the first of its kind in our Ward and as you can see, we are all happy”, he said.
Comrade Chukwuma went down memory lane to recall some of the numerous projects executed by the Speaker as Majority Leader of the House of Assembly even long he became Speaker using his Direct Touch Initiative to lift a lot of people especially the youths in his immediate Constituency and beyond from socioeconomic difficulties.
The youth leader thanked the Speaker for extending his kind gestures to the people of Amuzukwu and Urban Ward 2 at large and prayed God to continue to empower him and promote him higher.
He then purged the Speaker to remain steadfast and resolute in reaching out to his people through such community projects and human empowerment programmes as he has always done.