The Anwanano Imeoha community in Nkerefi, Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State has launched a 10 year project aimed at changing the face of community.
It is a whopping ₦10 billion infrastructural development plan, and the community intends to raise funds through individuals, government, NGOs and other bodies and organisations.
The community, through the Anwanano Imeoha Development Association last weekend, launched the project by initiating its first plan, a road project to connect all the villages within Anwanano Imeoha.
During the launch, the traditional ruler of Imeoha Autonomous Community, Nkerefi, His Royal Highness, Igwe L. O. Ogbuta Okorie, while addressing the community people as to why the project was initiated, said that it is one meant to outlive the present generation, and bring the community to limelight. He also said they can no longer sit and wait for government assistance but must begin the job, while appealing to the different tiers of government to lend them a hand.
Addressing them at Igwebuike Secondary School Imeoha he said: “Today, Eke, 2nd December of 2023, we of Anwanano of Imeoha have gathered to say, enough of our suffering. We have decided to take our destinies into our hands, and we declare war on poverty. On decayed infrastructure. We are tired of bad roads, disfunctional hospitals. Our mothers and our children have suffered so much and that’s why we have decided to say, enough is enough.
“The President General, Dr Patrick Njoku is a blessing to us. He is an accountant. He is a man who will ensure this project is a success. I was crying that I am carrying a burden as Igwe. What Igwe does is to enjoy, but I have been bearing the burden of bringing development on our community. It is the people that bring development. That is the meaning of ‘Igwe bu Ike’, ‘Power comes from the People’. I am no more as strong as I used to be, and it is you people that will unite and develop this community. And so, we decided that Anwanano should come together and develop their land.
“Today, history is being repeated. On this very land as I was told, in 1954, our fathers came together and decided to build a school block. It’s our fathers that took that decision, see the block there.
“Ask yourself, if you pass on today, what would you be remembered for? Our fathers have done their own, it’s our own duty now to do ours. We will not sleep until all our inroads across Anwanano are graded, and tarred.
“We will not rest until our women have a place to deliver our babies. We will not rest until we have a functional daily market. Whatever you have, you contribute. If it’s money, you contribute. If you don’t have money, if it’s energy, you join in the physical work. It is our collective responsibility. Whatever you have, you use, and before you know it, our roads will begin to take shape”, he stated.
In his own speech, the President General of Anwanano Devt Association, Dr Patrick Njoku said “I have been authorised to lead Anwanano. I am not very good at making speeches. But what I can assure you is that as I am talking, I am already taking action. The caterpillar tractor is already here, and it won’t go until the job is completed.
“What we are doing is not for us, because as you can see, we are no more young. It is for you our children, and it spans over a period of ten years. It is a holistic developmental plan, and the young and upcoming will grow up and join in making the project a success.
“What we are trying to do is to set a standard, so that anyone who wants to take over from us will ensure that he meets our standard, or beats it. Or else, if he cannot, he must allow those who can to take over.
“But without you, this project is not feasible.
“The market we are planning is going to be a daily, no more one that will function once every four days. People will take shops and put goods and sell.
“We will have a motor park in our community too, by the market. As rice farmers, we will have our own rice mills and our farmers won’t have to go to Uburu to mill their rice anymore.
“People from all over South East will be coming here to buy garri, rice, yams, and everything we wrote on this banner, we will accomplish them one after the other, for this ten year period.
“When we started this project, it was like childs play, until someone paid one million into my account to encourage us. That’s the kind of support we expect, that everybody should contribute whatever they have to make the project successful”.
Also speaking in an interview,
Engr Onu Jacob Nwobodo, chairman of Works Committee said “We have conducted a feasibly and viability study and the work is feasible and viable. Everything we are doing is going to be easy”.
James Orji, a former councillor and administrator of Nkanu South Development Area said “we wrote to the State and local government, and commisioner for rural development. And they are showing signs that they are going to support the project”.
High point of the launch was when the community people, expressing their happiness, danced, along with their Igwe and other leaders to the take off point of the road project.
The 10 year plan, is made up of diverse projects, including access roads across the Anwanano community, electricity, functional hospital, and skills acquisition centre for youths and women.
Others include agric processing plant, police post, modern residential homes, secretariat and administrative offices, sports and leisure park, model schools, town hall, banking facilities, industrial park and motor park.