As Enugu State marks its 31st anniversary, the advocacy group that championed the struggle for the creation of the state, Enugu State Development Association (ESDA) has paid glowing tribute to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for upholding the dreams of the founding fathers of the state.
Speaking during an event organised to commemorate the 31st anniversary of Enugu State, at the Government House, Enugu, on Saturday, the President General of ESDA, HRH Igwe Ezeudo Abel Ogbonnaya Nwobodo, disclosed that the association is impressed with the governor’s developmental strides and peace initiative in the state.
Igwe Nwobodo stressed that Gov. Ugwuanyi’s accomplishments have “stood you out as a great leader, achiever, mentor, supporter and the pillar in which our state stands on.”
He therefore told the governor that “history will indeed be kind to you for your numerous achievements.”
Stressing on Gov. Ugwuanyi’s commitment to the association’s noble objectives, Igwe Nwobodo said: “Your support for, and contributions to the affairs of ESDA deserve public commendation.”
The ESDA President General stated that the event was “to rejoice that Enugu State is 31 years,” pointing out that “the creation of Enugu State could not have been possible without the determined, unfailing and selfless efforts of the members of WAWA State Movement.”
Disclosing that Enugu State Development Association replaced WAWA State Movement following the creation of Ebonyi State, Igwe Nwobodo maintained that “the members of ESDA being conscious of the aims and aspirations of our founding fathers, and the need to continue to tell stories to our young ones, have reorganised our association and have brought it further nearer to our people by having local government and state executive committees and ward coordinators so that the grassroots can understand where we came from and where we are going.”
Stating that ESDA is fully concerned about development, the association honoured each of the 17 LGA Chairmen as Patron “in recognition of your excellent support and efforts in the development of Enugu State.”
The Council Chairmen thanked ESDA for the recognition and promised to remain committed to the development of the state especially at the grassroots.
In his anniversary lecture delivered at the event, titled “Enugu State at 31: Sustaining the Dreams of the Founding Fathers”, a Professor of History, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Dan O. Chukwu commended Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration “for deploying the needed machinery of government to ensure equity and evenness in the distribution of amenities among the various communities in the state.”
Prof. Chukwu maintained that “among the areas where His Excellency (Ugwuanyi) has been scored a high mark since 2015 when he mounted the saddle, are in the provision of security services, generation of employment opportunities, creation of opportunities through Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, information technology and communication as well as enhancement of the people’s healthcare, among many others,” saying: “These are all part of the indices for measuring sustainable development.”
Speaking, Gov. Ugwuanyi expressed profound gratitude to the founding fathers of Enugu State for their vision, doggedness and tenacity towards the creation of the state.
Describing the founding fathers as “the true heroes”, the governor assured them that their sacrifices will not be in vain.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Simon Uchenna Ortuanya, Gov. Ugwuanyi congratulated the people of Enugu State on the occasion of the 31st anniversary of the creation of the state, commending the members of ESDA for the deserving celebration.
He therefore urged the people of the state to keep the hope alive and remain steadfast in their prayers and cooperation, reassuring that the state government will continue on the path of peace, security, growth and infrastructural development.
The member representing Nkanu East Constituency, Rt. Hon. Paul Nnajiofor, the Chairman, Enugu State Council of Traditional Rulers, HRH Igwe Amb. Lawrence Agubuzu, the Deputy Chairman of the Council, HRH Igwe Dr. Julius Nnaji, the Special Adviser (SPA) to the Governor on Information, Steve Oruruo, the SPA to the Governor on Agriculture, Engr. Michael Ogbuekwe, their counterpart, Hon. Kentus Okechukwu Eze, the Council Chairmen, the Executive Chairman, Science Technical and Vocational Schools Management Board (STVSMB) Dr. G.O.C Ajah and the Programme Manager, Enugu State Agricultural Development Programme (ENADEP), Dr. Ogbonna Onyeisi, among other dignitaries, were present at the event.
The Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) has demanded a thorough investigation into the fire incident that gutted a section of the Supreme Court in the early hours of Monday.
The party raised the alarm over the incident which it described as suspicious giving the fact that a verdict on a sensitive issue of national importance is being expected.
National Publicity Secretary of the party, Debo Ologunagba made the position of the opposition party on the fire incident known in a statement on Monday.
He said, “The PDP is worried over the fire outbreak especially given heightened public apprehension of possible arsonist attack with the intent to cripple and frustrate the Supreme Court from effectively discharging its constitutional duties especially with regard to high profile electoral cases including the Presidential Election Appeals pending before it.
“Our Party demands for an immediate full-scale investigation into the fire outbreak with the view to unraveling the circumstances or possible sabotage in the incident.
“The PDP insists that the outcome of the investigation should be made public unlike those of previous fire incidents in various government Ministries, Departments and Agencies which were characteristically swept under the carpet by the All Progressives Congress (APC) administrations.
“While calling on the Federal Government to beef up security around the Supreme Court, the PDP also demands that Nigerians must be assured of the safety of sensitive documents and equipment at the Court especially at this critical time.”
Gov Peter Mbah (centre) and some government officials during inspection of the collapsed bridge in Enugu on Monday
…urges FG to concession roads to states
Governor of Enugu State, Dr. Peter Mbah, has called for a new road maintenance model to guarantee a better condition and longevity of Nigerians roads, regretting that the current model had failed woefully.
Dr. Mbah made the call when he visited the site of the collapsed bridge between the New Artisan flyover and the NNPC Mega Station along the Enugu – Port Harcourt Expressway.
The collapsed bridge
Fielding questions from newsmen after the first-hand inspection of the scene of the disaster, Mbah who thanked God that no life was lost despite the magnitude of the incident, urged the federal government to consider a concession of all the federal roads in each state to the state governments for proper maintenance in conjunction with the private sector.
“I think the question should be whether the current model of federal road maintenance is working or not; and I think that is the bigger question that we must ask.
“Today, we are here witnessing a tragedy that has just occurred. We are fortunate enough that no life was lost, but this could have been prevented entirely. So, the people can no longer ply this route because of this tragedy. This shows clearly that we do not have a sound federal road maintenance model.
“The bridge collapse didn’t just happen. These threats could have been identified if we had routine or regular maintenance.
“Perhaps the way to go is to find a way to concession these roads to the states. The states need to take charge of the roads within their domains and there has to be a conversation around the funding models”.
The said bridge collapsed on Monday, leaving commuters stranded.
Meanwhile, in a statement signed by the Enugu State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Gerald Otiji, government has advised commuters to use Nza Street through New Haven or ply Ogui Road and Abakaliki Road to their various destinations, while the authorities come up with measures for immediate repair on the failed section of the bridge.
The flyover bridge across the Enugu – Port Harcourt Expressway at the Enugu New Artisan market in Enugu state capital has collapsed.
The bridge collapsed Monday morning but an eyewitness said there was no casualty as artisans and residents were yet to come out from their homes for the day’s activity.
The eyewitness, an Auto Mechanic who identified himself as Nnamdi, told The Advocate that two lorries conveying goods which were on the bridge when the incident occurred were affected.
According to him, drivers and conductors of the two lorries, however, escaped unhurt.
The Advocate observed that one lane of the Enugu – Port Harcourt dual-carriage way had been blocked by the debris of the collapsed bridge forcing motorists playing the expressway to divert through alternative routes to continue their journey.
Security operatives, officials of the Federal and Enugu State Ministries of Works, Federal Road Maintenance Agency, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) were sighted within the area to access the situation as well as to assist the road users plying the alternative routes.
Residents of Goshen Estate, Premier Layout, worshippers at the Dunamis Church and traders at the New Artisan market who are regular users of the bridge are likely to encounter serious traffic gridlock on account of the collapsed bridge, if an alternative route is not created as a matter of urgency.
The state government has yet to speak on the development by press time.