*…Reiterates commitment to rural development*
There was jubilation in Isi-Uzo Local Government Area of Enugu State on Monday, as Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi inaugurated the 8.8km reconstructed portion of Ikem-Eha Amufu-Nkalagu road, which was abandoned over 36 years ago.
The 8.8km road, which was reconstructed for the people of the agrarian community of Eha Amufu in Isi-Uzo L.G.A, is a gateway to the North through Obollo-Afor connecting Ebonyi State through Nkalagu and provides access to the Nigercem Factory at Nkalagu that used to be the mainstay of the economy and tourist attraction to the Eastern Nigeria.
The road is also one of the hitherto abandoned critical infrastructure and legacy projects in the rural areas, executed by Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration in line with its rural development policy.
Inaugurating the road, Gov. Ugwuanyi stated that “this project is part of our deliberate efforts to provide critical infrastructure to the rural communities to improve the quality of life, ease evacuation of agricultural produce and facilitate market linkages, improve earnings amongst rural population, stimulate local commerce and ultimately reduce poverty while curtailing rural-urban migration”.
The governor, who maintained that “integrated rural development and inclusive governance are the major planks of our administration”, disclosed that “we have vigorously pursued these objectives through numerous strategic rural infrastructural interventions”.
Describing the road as one of the oldest Federal Roads in the country, built before the Nigerian Civil War, Gov. Ugwuanyi, who was accompanied by the Speaker of the State Assembly, Rt. Hon. Edward Ubosi, his colleagues, and the member representing Enugu East/Isi-Uzo Federal Constituency, Hon. Prince Cornelius Nnaji, among others, revealed that it was last rehabilitated in 1981 by the administration of Senator Jim Nwobodo as Governor of old Anambra State.
Appreciating the jubilant mood of the people of the area who came out en masse to witness the event, the governor said: “We are encouraged by the happy faces of the people from communities in Eha Amufu and environs that we see here today. I congratulate you, the true heroes of democracy for you deserve this and even more”.
According to him, “your prayers and sincere support have been our major sources of strength and inspiration. We are in government to alleviate the sufferings of our people and we remain irrevocably committed to this mission”.
Earlier in his welcome remark, the Chairman of Isi-Uzo L.G.A, Dr. Benjamin Edeoga, on behalf of the people of the council, thanked Gov. Ugwuanyi for remembering Eha Amufu community and its environs after over three decades of neglect, pointing out that “this road had been a death trap for the past 30 years and nobody had touched it until you came and rescued us”.
His words: “Your Excellency, our people are very happy because you have wiped away our tears. You have been addressing our plights. You are the David of our time. We have not seen it so good like this. It is when you came on board that this road that had been abandoned was asphalted. Thank you, Your Excellency, God will continue to strengthen you and bless you”.
Also speaking, the State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hon. Augustine Nnamani, who is an indigene of the council, the Commissioner-nominee from the council, Hon. Chijioke Edeoga, the traditional rulers, and others, appreciated Gov. Ugwuanyi for the indelible footprints he has left in their area through the provision of legacy projects such as roads and inter-state bridges and appointments of their sons and daughters into sensitive government positions.