By: Chijindu Emeruwa
The Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Engr Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji earlier today kicked off the construction of a mini stadium, which analysts have described as world class, in Isieke Secondary School, Isieke Ibeku, Umuahia North LGA.
The groundbreaking and foundation laying ceremony of the stadium which is one of the ongoing numerous projects being attracted and executed by the Speaker in his Constituency and beyond, held today in the school located in Umuahia East State Constituency, amidst pomp and circumstance with encomiums showered on the Speaker by all those who witnessed the epoch making occasion including leaders, members and residents of the community.
The ground breaking ceremony was led by the Prime Minister of Ibeku Ancient Kingdom, Chief James Akwukwuegbu (Bawas), who thanked the Speaker for the gigantic project and prayed that at the completion of the project, many youths will be empowered and many football stars will emerge. He advised the contractors and engineers handling the project to ensure they live up to the standard of the Speaker by ensuring they continue to use the best materials for the construction.
Speaking at the ceremony, former Nigerian Football International, Paschal Karibe Ojigwe extolled the Speaker and described the project as “capable of producing world class stars from Abia State to Nigeria and beyond.
“I was so elated when i first heard about this project. And I’m even more excited seeing it started live. As a Speaker committed to youth development, and a sports lover, I’m really impressed that he decided to give back to the youths; in fact, the youths of Abia State are blessed to have him at this time because he is simply showing what it means to be a leader”, he said.
On his part, Mr Ejikeme Ikwunze, an international football administrator popularly known as “Mr Football” who was also at the ground breaking event said the project as being attracted by the Speaker is a noble one. “It’s something I have been expecting; I’m especially and sincerely happy that the Speaker has taken up this project. I believe that one of the ways to empower the youths is through sports and the Speaker being a youth-friendly man has followed that philosophy of empowering the youths through sports. what he is doing here is a grassroots legacy; this mini stadium will generate a lot of interest in sports.
“This project will provide a conducive and serene environment for the youths to develop their talents” Mr Ikwunze said,
Continuing, the obviously elated football enthusiast commended the spirit and large heartedness of the Speaker as he has come forth to help develop the youths of the area and beyond.
On his part, Chief Charles Ogbonna (Evulogu), thanked the Speaker immensely for his selflessness and for siting the project in a place outside his immediate legislative constituency saying it shows that the Speaker is not a sectional leader but a leader of all irrespective of affiliation or affinity.
“This is the perfect example of quality representation; our brother who is the Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly and Member representing Umuahia Central State Constituency is extending his hand of philanthropy to Umuahia East State Constituency. It is a thing of Joy to me that we have a Speaker who thinks of the betterment of an average Ibeku man and a Speaker who believes in progress and development.
“I want to thank him and pray that God will continue to lead, guide, protect and empower him more with Wisdom”, he enthused.
Chief Benard Enyinnaya, the Chairman of Umuajiji Isieke, the host community, expressed delight about the project being executed by the Speaker in his dispensation as chairman of the community, saying it will impact positively on the lives of the youths in the area.
While thanking the Speaker for extending his hand of fellowship to his people not minding that the project site is not situated in his immediate Constituency, Chief Enyinnaya said youths of the area will do everything in their powers to see that the project is protected and that the local security outfit of the area will be deployed at the project site to further protect the place from unlikely vandalisation.
Others who spoke and commended the Speaker for the project are the Chairman of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Umuahia Chapter, Engr Okeke Ude Olugu, Engr Chris Chima Ogbonna, Prince Chima Solomon, Lady Ifeyinwa Umezuruike, immediate past Secretary of Umuahia North LGA and the Chief of Staff to the Speaker, Mazi Ken Ezeigbo who said attracting the mini stadium project by Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji was just one of the numerous projects of the Speaker “who has through his Direct Touch Initiative provided water boreholes, transformers, health centres, renovated schools, police stations and empowered numerous youths in Abia State and beyond”.
Prayers for the groundbreaking and foundation laying ceremony was led by Revd Amblessed Mbah of the Methodist Church of Nigeria.