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Isi-Uzo: Prototype of Enugu’s Changing Development Narratives Under Gov Mbah



By Obiora Obeagu

Isi-Uzo is a rural area and one of the oldest local governments in Enugu State, sharing borders with Benue and Ebonyi States. It ranks low on the bottom rung of the ladder as one of the least developed LGAs in the state. Lack of requisite infrastructure has stalled its socio-economic development for over 48 years of its existence as a Council. The burgeoning agri-business of the agrarian populace of Isi-Uzo has equally been mired by insecurity: farmers-herders conflicts, banditry, and sundry criminalities. The lurking complexities of this underlying insecurity triggered a December 2022 unprecedented crisis that turned Eha-Amufu, in Isi-Uzo, into a ghost town. It saw the people – leaders, elders, youth, women and children – scatter across Isi-Uzo and neighbouring communities.

Therefore, the 2023 general elections came at a time when the people of Isi-Uzo, like the psalmist wrote in Psalm 121, lifted up their eyes to the hills and wondered where their help would come from. However, though Isi-Uzo people were united in that prayer, they were divided in where the answer to the prayer would come from. But Governor Peter Mbah’s manifesto was laden with humongous and clear vision: To grow Enugu State’s economy from $4.4 billion to $30 billion; to make Enugu the premier destination for investment, business, tourism, and for living; to eradicate poverty, just to name a few. Thus, it was not surprising that our people, in their thousands and against all odds, chose capacity over kinship. But the good news is that he has given those who stuck out their necks to fight for his victory causes to thump their chests about the choice they made.

Dr. Mbah’s ban of illegal sit-at-home a few days after his swearing-in was a signpost that it is indeed business unusual. The action sent a glimmer of hope to Ndi Enugu and the hopeful agrarian people of Isi-Uzo, whose economic potentials and freedom have been battered by over 15 years farmers-herders conflicts and banditry. This is because to the people of Isi-Uzo, their very vast and arable land resources remain their oil well. With our untapped land and natural resources, Isi-Uzo has the capacity to become the hub of agri-business in Enugu and neighbouring states if our agro-potentials are well harnessed.

Today, Mbah is taking some unprecedented, strategic steps to address the age-long and hydra-headed security challenges in Eha-Amufu and Isi-Uzo. The context and content of his kinetic and non-kinetic actions mark a remarkable departure from the norm. He is deploying security, infrastructure, and agriculture produce city projects to confront these challenges. For instance, there is an ongoing 22km asphalt road, with drainages, bridges and culverts, from Agape area to Orie-Ogbete in Mgbuji farm settlement. It is the first in the history of our people by any administration in the State.

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The nature of the soil and dilapidated roads in Eha-Amufu and some other Isi-Uzo communities make the farm settlement terrains inaccessible and worse during rains. This mega project is already addressing problems of bad terrain and tackling insecurity, as local farmers, who hitherto deserted their farms out of fear have gone back, in their numbers, to farming this season. The project is poised to revive agri-business and bolster huge economic development with the re-establishment of the popular inter-state Orie-Ogbete market. It was abandoned over two years ago, after heavily armed and camouflaged bandits from neighbouring state swooped on our people and massacred them in their numbers on 6th January, 2022, burning them along with their shops and goods.

What’s more? Presently, there is ongoing road intervention by the Mbah administration to link these vulnerable Isi-Uzo communities and enhance security operations from Ikpapkara Aguamede – Uzam Ado–Odoba–OnuAdo–Orenu – Ojeshi–Akpugo flushing out to Ikem-Nkwo road that links Enugu and Benue States.

Very significant also is the ongoing construction of the 40km Owo-Ubanu-Amankanu-Neke-Ikem dual carriageway. This road will now serve as a gateway to the North Central. For instance, those traveling to the North from Ebonyi and parts of South-South like Cross Rivers wouldn’t need to go through 9th Mile. Governor Mbah has also promised to open up the about 17.5km Ikem-Nkwo-Odenigbo Eha-Amufu-Ichama-Benue State road that will join the Owo dual carriageway where it terminated at Ikem. These projects will spring up new businesses.


The Mbah administration has equally set up a military camp at Ogbete and security buffer zones across the affected border communities and flashpoint areas in Isi-Uzo LGA. Presently, there are over 200 military and security forces across Eha-Amufu communities of Eha-Ohuala, Aguamede and Ikem-Nkwo in Isi-Uzo to sustain security operations around the forest zones and border areas. The planned military barracks and restructuring of local security will ensure proactive operations, while the innovative Enugu State Security Trust Fund activated by the government will enhance and guarantee sustainable security interventions. The measures are yielding positive results, as the usual stories of killings, kidnappings, and burning of houses and properties in Isi-Uzo are fast waning. Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have also returned to their communities.

In the face of dwindling oil resources, our ailing economy and high rate of unemployment in the country, agriculture is the way to go. Governor Mbah has set machinery in motion for the innovative Produce City projects in Isi-Uzo and other parts of the state. This will, among others, harness arable and fallow land banks for commercial agriculture projects involving production, processing, packaging and marketing of farm products like rice, cassava, palm oil, yam, maize, among others. The government is gathering data with plans to integrate local farmers into the project and empower them with agricultural inputs. This will help them engage in large scale agriculture that will create wealth and improve their livelihoods. And only a few weeks ago, the administration sealed a N100bn deal with a private investor to revive the moribund United Palm Products Ltd palm plantations established by the Dr. Michael Okpara Government in the 1st Republic.

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Malcolm X, a US civil rights activist, described education as the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today. I have always said that education is the sure road to freedom for our disadvantaged children, our hope for tomorrow, in rural areas whose only crime is being born into poor families in our local communities with a poor learning environment. But that is going to change with the smart school project initiative of Governor Peter Mbah, the first of its kind in the country and possibly in Africa. It will provide a world-class learning environment and equipment. Each Smart School comprises an interactive digital whiteboard, an internet system, robotics and artificial intelligence centre, modern ICT centre, two science laboratories (for primary and junior secondary), hybrid multimedia library, creative production studio, 25 inclusive classrooms and 700 Android tablets.

Currently, Smart school projects, scattered across Enugu’s 260 wards, are ongoing in 9 out of the 11 wards in Isi-Uzo. The Governor said the smart school will provide free education for early years to Junior Secondary 3. This will drastically reduce the number of out-of-school children and curb the proliferation of quack private schools in education for business in the state. Teachers are being recruited and trained for the task ahead. The provision for teachers’ quarters will curb the menace of teacher absenteeism and lost teaching hours.

Nelson Mandela said that Education is the most powerful weapon with which you can use to change the world. For me, the smart school project is the best revolution to not only Enugu State, but Africa and the Governor has laid foundation for human empowerment and legacy that will shape the future of our successive generations and give the state a quantum leap.

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There is a popular saying that health is wealth. The Mbah administration is facilitating access to quality healthcare for our rural populace, especially women, children and the aged. Government’s plan to construct 260 Type 2 Primary Healthcare Centres is also rubbing off well on Isi-Uzo where such constructions, including living quarters for health workers, are ongoing. Aside from ridding the system of decrepit health structures, it will ensure access to modern medical facilities and healthcare with doctors and nurses on ground.

Governor Mbah is strategically opening up new economic corridors in our localities and Enugu State. He is leveraging on his enormous and digital wealth of experience in public and private sectors to reinvent governance in Enugu State. His 521.5 Billion 2024 “Budget of Disruptive Economic Growth” was a marked departure from the norm. With N414.3 billion capital expenditure over N107.2 billion recurrent expenditure, it carries weight with potential to positively impact the development trajectory of our dear Enugu State. It is, therefore, not surprising that BugIT ranked Mbah Administration the most prudent and least recurrent spender among the 36 states.

My encounter with Governor Peter Mbah reveals a leader with intellectual prowess, who is passionate about his people and, who is ever poised to translate his vision into action. There is hardly anything more obvious than the fact that he is delivering on his promises. Enugu State is witnessing unprecedented projects and transformation across key sectors like Education, Health, Agriculture, Security, Roads Infrastructures, ICT, among others. The 180 days commissioning and delivery of promised water, renewed the hope of a better life for Ndi Enugu. The revival of moribund assets like the abandoned Hotel Presidential and Enugu International Conference Centre, coupled with the recent flag-off of 5-Star Hotel project will boost tourism and the economy of Enugu State.


One year is too short a time to determine if an administration has delivered on its four-year mandate or not, but it is enough to check if the proper foundations have been laid and if a government is on the path to deliver on its promises. So far, Governor Mbah has laid a solid foundation and is on a sure footing and path to transforming Enugu State. And his many completed, commissioned and ongoing projects like roads where he recently commissioned 71 urban roads, the smart schools, Command and Control Centre, Primary Healthcare Centres, etc, bear testimonies to his commitment and determination.

•  Obeagu, immediate past Council Chairman, Isi-Uzo LGA, is a Human Rights Lawyer and Fellow, Institute of Global Peace and Conflict Management

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Steve Oruruo-led 15-man Ebonyi PDP Caretaker Committee inaugurated amid protest by stakeholders



Members of Ebonyi PDP caretaker committee after their inauguration in Enugu on Monday.

Barrister Steve Oruruo has been sworn-in as the chairman of the 15-man caretaker committee that will pilot affairs of the crisis -ridden Ebonyi Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Oruruo from Enugu state was appointed to lead the Ebonyi caretaker committee as a strategic move by the party leaders to restore probity and reposition the party  in the state.

But  some  PDP stakeholders in the state  have rejected the constituted Caretaker Committee approved by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party.

The aggrieved stakeholders and their supporters have threatened to resign en-masse from the party if the caretaker committee is not replaced by the agreed list emanating from the stakeholders in the state.

Their protest was, however, ignored by the NWC as Oruruo and other executives were sworn in by the zonal Chairman of the party, Chief Ali Odefa at the PDP’s zonal office in Enugu.

Odefa described the committee as unique because, according to him,  the national working committee has demonstrated uncommon determination to solving the political imbroglio in Ebonyi.

Chief Odefa while congratulating the committee members, reminded them that they emerged “through a struggle which I believe is needless considering the huge risks we took defending the party against a tyrannical government in Ebonyi State.”

He expressed optimism that the committee will live up to the task considering the class of people therein, while thanking the NWC of the party for their interventions.


“Today, I’m deeply impressed with the calibre of persons that have been nominated into this caretaker committee, especially the Chairman and Secretary that come from Enugu State. They’re people of impeccable character that are well known in the party, they’re not greenhorns.

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“I want to also thank the NWC that tried to mediate in the crisis without taking side. I’m very confident that going forward, there will be peace in Ebonyi Chapter. While inaugurating them, I charged them to be loyal to the party first, uphold its constitution and not to pander to me or any other stakeholder.”

While promising to supervise the activities of the new committee, Chief Odefa said they’ve learnt their lessons and they’re working so hard to ensure those mistakes aren’t repeated.

In his remark, the member representing Afikpo North/Afikpo South federal constituency in the House of reps, Rt. Hon. Iduma Igariwey thanked the NWC for taking a bold step in solving the problem of Ebonyi PDP.

“This is the first time that the NWC made frantic effort to understand the problem of our party which I believe led to our humiliating loss in the last election. I think that for the first time, a Daniel has come to judgement.

“If we handle this process very well, we can begin to restore the foundation of the PDP which has been lost.

Hon. Igariwey charged all the stakeholders of the party to join hands in building the party because “Ebonyi State since 1999 has been a PDP state. We’ve always won our elections under PDP.”

In his acceptance speech after the inauguration, Barr. Oruruo, a former secretary of the PDP in Enugu state while acknowledging the enormous task ahead, said he’s confident with the team that has been assembled and very certain they’ll rescue Ebonyi PDP.


“I understand the enormity of the task but we’ve made up our mind to reorganise the party, get it rejuvenated, create a new order and a semblance of peace and galvanise the spirit of the members of the party and place us on the platter of conquest.”

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“This intellectuals brought together for one single purpose of getting the party resuscitated are willing and committed to the task ahead.

“Our mandate is very simple; to re-establish orderliness in the party, reinvent the spirit of unison among the stakeholders and also get us ready for the congresses of the party and the convention. We will reintroduce intergrity, fairness, rule of law and commitment to repositioning the party and respect for the constitution,” he added.

The committee has Barr. Pascal Ukwuani as the secretary while the following persons from Ebonyi state  will serve as members. They include Barr. Jude Omoha, Francis Ibiam,  Ude Akaji, Chief Godwin Nwode, Hon. Amechi Oken, Chief Christopher Elechi Ngwuta, Dave Odey, Hon Ezekiel Igede, Hon. Chika Nwoba, Hon. Emmauel Uka A., Engr. Edward Ifeanyi Odanwu,  Okoro Monday Ogbonnaya and Hon. Mark Onu.

Meanwhile, a statement signed by 71 members and stakeholders of the party in Ebonyi, which was made available to The Advocate last weekend, seriously kicked against the composition of the caretaker committee.

According to the statement, “The NWC mandated the PDP stakeholders and members present to nominate a candidate each from the 13 local government areas of the state to serve in a new Caretaker committee to be immediately inaugurated.

“The Ebonyi State PDP members subsequently made nominations, while the NWC announced that it reserves the right to appoint the Chairman and Secretary from any part of the Southeast.”

However, when the party released the new Caretaker Committee list last Friday it was discovered that the earlier submitted list had been replaced by the National Working Committee.


The stakeholders declared that “From the above conduct of the PDP NWC, it is now crystal clear that they are either working as undertakers for the final burial of the PDP in Ebonyi State, or they are being misguided by arch-enemies of the PDP in Ebonyi State.

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“We hereby state categorically that if the NWC reneges on the collectively agreed-upon list of new caretaker committee as submitted by the various local government chapters of the PDP in Ebonyi State, we may not have any other option than to resign from the PDP.

“We have sacrificed personal and individual resources and comfort to stay true and loyal to the PDP in Ebonyi State in the face of organised intimidation, harassment and subterfuge plots. It is, therefore, curious that the National leadership of our great party looks reluctant to help the party stay strong in Ebonyi State.”

Among those who signed the letter were Senator Paulinus Igwe Nwagu, the Deputy Governorship Candidate of the party in the 2023 general elections, Sen. Michael Amah Nnachi, Barr. Onwe S. Onwe, former Acting National Secretary of the PDP, Lagos-based business mogul, Chief Julius Amah and Dr. Paul Okorie a former governorship aspirant.

Others include Hon. Chris Usulor, Hon. Franca Okpo, Hon Victor Aleke, Chief John Igboke, Chief Ekuma Igbota, Chief Amah Ugo Orji, Chief Abia Onyike, among many other stakeholders of the party in the state.

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2023 election show of shame, plagued by fraud, irregularities  – Peter Obi



Peter Obi
Former Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, has described the 2023 general elections as a show of shame, which he said was plagued by allegations of fraud and widespread irregularities.

In a series of posts via his X page on Saturday, the former Governor of Anambra State said the election was marred by glitches despite the enormous money spent to conduct the exercise.

Obi said Nigeria’s election is a sharp contrast to the recent South African election, which he described as transparent and seamless. He added that the differences between the two countries’ electoral processes are lamentable.

He wrote: “The outcome of the recent South African election results remains a shining example of what a transparent and efficient democratic electoral process should look like.

“With about 60% Voter turnout, over 90% of polling open on time, allowing diaspora voting, the results and updates were real-time without any form of technical glitches during the election.

“This demonstrated the robustness and transparency of their system. The seamless online dissemination of results further highlights their commitment to democratic principles and technological advancement.

“This is in stark contrast, to the show of shame that the giant of Africa, Nigeria, gave the World in 2023. Nigeria’s 2023, with less than 30% of Voter turnout, over 60% of the polling stations starting late, and no diaspora voting, the elections were plagued by allegations of fraud and widespread irregularities, all forms of glitches, despite an enormous expenditure to the tune of about a billion dollars (direct allocation of =N=313 Billion and donor agencies support).

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“The process has been widely discredited. The differences between the two countries’ electoral processes are both stark and lamentable. South Africa’s Election Results Center, with its state-of-the-art electronic board, showcased results with unparalleled precision and speed.”

Obi asserted that Nigeria’s electoral process is mired in controversy and lack of transparency, saying that it is a painful reminder of the country’s ongoing struggles with democratic governance.


Therefore, he called for urgent comprehensive electoral reforms and for the establishment of a system that would restore the people’s faith in the country’s democracy.

He added: “Meanwhile, Nigeria’s electoral process is mired in controversy and lacks transparency. This glaring juxtaposition is a painful reminder of our country’s ongoing struggles with democratic governance.

“It underscores the urgent need for comprehensive electoral reforms to ensure that our elections are free, fair, and credible. We must learn from South Africa’s example and strive to build a system that restores the people’s faith in our democracy.

“The time for action is now, and we cannot afford to delay any longer in addressing these critical issues for a new Nigeria is POssible!”

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‘Obidient’ movement more than any political party – Peter Obi



‘Obidient’ movement more than any political party – Peter Obi
Mr. Peter Obi

The 2023 Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, has boasted that his ‘Obidient’ movement is far more than any political party in the country.

The former governor of Anambra State said this in a statement on Wednesday while explaining that the movement was not a directorate of any particular political party in the country.

According to Obi, anyone claiming to be at the helm of affairs of what he described as a “non-existent directorate” is not a member of the ‘Obidient’ movement.

He said the movement was more than a mere political party void of ethnic and religious affiliations.

The statement read, “I like to categorically state that the Obidient Movement is not a directorate of any particular political party. Any individual or individuals claiming to be leaders of this non-existent directorate are simply not members of the broader Obidient Movement. There may be a youth mobilisation directorate in political parties but the Obidient movement is far beyond a particular political party. The Obidient Movement is a diverse and inclusive collective that transcends traditional political, religious, and ethnic affiliations.

“It is not domiciled within any particular party or headquartered in any particular part of the country. Its membership spans across Africa and the globe, comprising individuals from various backgrounds, including rural communities, and public, private, and corporate entities, united by a shared vision for a New and better Nigeria. Guided by the principles of adaptive and transformative change, progress, discipline, and democratic values, the Obidient Movement advocates for fairness, equity, inclusivity, and justice.”

He added that the movement is committed to holding the government responsible and accountable while serving as a beacon of hope for a better Nigeria.

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The statement added, “It is committed to a strictly accountable and responsible code of government. Our members are committed to contributing to the realization of a better future for Nigeria through the New Nigeria project, anchored on loyalty, integrity, and democratic values. The Obidient Movement seeks to foster positive change through a commitment to integrity, honesty, and accountability, rejecting deceitful behaviours.


“We serve as a beacon of hope for a reimagined Nigeria, where leadership is grounded in character, capacity, competence, compassion and the well-being of all citizens. Let this serve as a clarification that the Obidient Movement operates independently of any political party, and its membership is not limited to any particular affiliation. Our focus remains steadfast on driving positive change and promoting a New Nigeria for all. This is who we are and will remain for all time.”

Recall that Obi recently addressed the possibility of a merger between the LP and the Peoples Democratic Party.

In an interview on NoireTV-GlobalBlackTV released on YouTube on Saturday, Obi also reacted to the prospect of being supported as a Southeast candidate in the 2027 presidential election by Atiku Abubakar, the PDP’s 2023 flagbearer.

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