The Auxiliary Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Enugu, Most Rev. Ernest Obodo, has commended former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, for targeting rural communities in his development efforts and water projects.
This was even as Senator Ekweremadu reiterated that his mission in politics was to make life better for the ordinary people and forgotten communities.
Bishop Obodo gave the commendation during the commissioning of a water project at Omughu community, Ezeagu Local Government Area of Enugu State. It was done under the “Enugu West Water for All Programme”, an initiative of the Senator representing Enugu West.
Bishop Obodo said: “Politics is about people, how to improve the life of the people. The Church caters to the soul and body of the people. That you are sinking boreholes for the people is a sign of love, a fulfilment of your mission as a representative of the people to make them to live healthy. So, we thank you for consistently partnering with the Church to enhance the body.
“This is the third borehole that you sunk that I blessed and very soon, by the grace of God, we shall bless the water in my parish”.
Speaking, Ekweremadu said the idea of “Enugu West Water for All Programme” was inspired by the need to provide portable water to the people at affordable cost.
“This is different from our previous and other ongoing efforts to provide water to the people. Because the cost of each borehole through government contract runs into several millions, we decided to improvise by going to Turkey to import our own rig a few years ago. What we now do is to mobilise funds, then use it to provide water, including overhead tanks for our people under this programme.
“As earlier explained by the Coordinator, this is borehole number 65 based on date of commencement of drilling and we have done 80 since the programme commenced. But we got to a point that people from other senatorial zones began to appeal that we consider them. So, we are doing about six boreholes in Enugu North (Nsukka zone). Etteh, Iheaka, and Ohebe Dim boreholes have been completed and that of Ovoko will soon be ready. Of course, many years ago, we did water projects at Aku and Obimo through direct government contract in 2012. I believe that very soon, we will move to Enugu East zone to help them.
“I strongly believe that the crux of public service remains what you can do for your people. For us, our ministry in politics is to reach out to the ordinary people, to the common people, those who cannot speak for themselves and those who cannot help themselves.
“If you go to a place called Anikenano in Awgu, nobody knows that they exist because it is located on hills and valleys and the people have been suffering for all these years. We took it upon ourselves to hire helicopter and went and surveyed the place looking for a way to provide access roads for them. By the grace of God, the road project is ongoing and if you go there now, you would think that you are in South Africa”, Ekweremadu said, describing the Deputy Minority Leader, House of Representatives, Hon. Toby Okechukwu and Member representing Udi/Ezeagu Federal Constituency, Hon. Dennis Amadi as worthy partners in progress.
Throwing more light on the project, the Coordinator, Engineer Jonathan Ivoke, said the deep-water borehole had the capacity to supply water to sorrounding villages, hence its services could be expanded beyond the church.
In their various remarks, the Parish Priest of St. Joseph’s Parish, Omughu, Rev. Michael Onoh; Hon. Toby Okechukwu; Hon. Dennis Amadi, and the Town Union President of Omughu community, Prince Vincent Ezi, extolled Ekweremadu for his rural-centric representation.
“While others site projects based on number of voters, you site projects based on needs. We see some politicians only during campaigns, but you are always here to check on us and you always remember the forgotten”, Ezi stated.