Aku Diewa: Gov. Ugwuanyi’s Forgotten Constituency -By Ochiaka Ugwu

Filed under: Democracy & Governance |

People of Aku Diewa community welcoming Gov. Ugwuanyi of Enugu State


Aku Diewa, the most populous town in Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area of Enugu State is indeed a land of hospitality and intellect, where communal living and community development have been the order of the day since time immemorial. A unique town in every sense of it, like one village satirist put it, “It is better for one to be a tree in Aku than being a human in other clans, because if anything happens to you as a tree in Aku, the community will surely come to your rescue. This illustration goes far to explain the fraternity and the good neighborliness Aku people show to their own which is rare in other places. They incorporated this in their style of administration and community development. That best explains why most projects if not all were community based efforts by highly progressive minded people who will stop at nothing to bequeath their best to the only town they have and can call their won.
Having being privileged to grow up in this township, I was inculcated right from childhood on how to put my community before anything and see my fellow kinsmen as my own blood brothers. You will be reminded repeatedly by elders that you are holding the town’s name in trust and you must uphold its good virtues everywhere anywhere. That was the way and manner most of us were brought up and that has become our spirit and our style of life.

More so, our complete commitment to our town is shown in our motto which is (Aha Nna Anyi Ka anyi Ji Aga) meaning that we are excelling with our father’s name. It has become a mantra to any well meaning Aku man today.

But upon this verifiable reality, a first time visitor to this God’s own town will be welcomed and bewildered by an imaginary suspicion whether it is the great Aku Diewa that produced the first Nsukka zonal TC2 Teacher in the person of Hon. Mgburuonu Amadi who latter went to House of Representatives in the 60s, and the first graduate from the zone, Mr. Christopher Amu-Nnadi who graduated from the University College Ibadan in 1958. It is also uncontestable that Aku has the highest number of professors and more graduates in the zone than any other town. The records are there for anybody in doubt to verify the claims. I can go on and on the pace Aku set for its neighbors even when most of them have not cut their teeth.

Politically, Aku produced the first Chairman of Igbo-Etiti Local Government when the Late Hon. Felix Nriji Ugwuoju was elected unopposed in 1976 to nurse the new council. Upon all these recorded achievements in human capital development, Aku is still trying to find its feet in the area of infrastructural development which is the driver of transformation in all human setting. This has made many to conclude that Aku is a giant standing on mosquito legs. Without mincing words, Aku is a squalor–like community reminiscence of the demolished nation’s ugliest settlement called Maroko.

Nonetheless, the sorry state of Aku portion of about 28 kilometer Ukehe-Aku-Ohebe-Nkporogwu Road of the less than 11–Kilometer road passed through Aku left much to be desired from a government elected by thousands of its residents. Although, the road project which got N50, 000, 000 allocation in Enugu State 2016 budget is still crying for attention as nothing tangible has been done on it. Even the Aku portion of it has remained impassable. This is the situation we have found ourselves. It is instructive to know that same road claimed the life of a fine promising Youngman in the person of Dr. Kelvin Ejili and may claim more if they don’t expedite action on it. Dr. Ejili, may the good lord rest his soul, I pray he finds a space in his heart to forgive us wherever he may be, simple because we have refused to speak on the quick completion of the road after his death to forestall another mishap.

However, it is vital to know that the state of bewilderment which becomes our daily nightmare is not only experienced by the community first–time visitor, rather hundreds of thousands of its residents continued to gasp in the midst of plenty that the so–called infrastructural development the incumbent and immediate–past administrations are clamouring to have achieved and continued are nothing but a “window dressing”. It is unreasonable to patronize projects with mere window dressing status to the detriment of other pressing social projects having direct bearing to a population that is more than a Local Council.

Let truth be told, Aku would have been a local government had it been God, in is infinite wisdom locates us in Northern zone of the country! Whereas the Aku people remained displeased with the past and present administrations style of governance, we hasten to respectfully made to believe that (selectivism) if you will permit me to use this coinage, of projects citing and execution occupy substantial portion of the present leadership main preoccupation, a development considered inimical to the Oath of Office sworn for fair, equity and justice in the course of project execution and leadership responsibilities. Why must we cast aspersion and innuendoes on the state leadership most times through popular mediums before government attention is brought to address peoples’ plight in my town. Aku people abhor in strongest terms engaging the services of “political foot–soldiers” to champion its cause having known the repercussion involved in such action as it negates the sense of responsibility in which we were brought up with.

Without fear of favour or contradiction, one humbly says that no responsible government will allow his subjects to remain in perpetual suffering typical of the Aku town even when they gave the incumbent governor the highest vote in the local council. This imbalance if not redressed will automatically make the people to pitch their tent with any alternative platform that stands better to find real solution to their challenges. Tell me, if one is relegated to the background and deprived continuously consequent to human–induced sufferings, his only alternative will be to seek redress in 2019 elections!
Consequent upon this, I call on the present state leadership, led by Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to honour their electioneering pledge to rebuild the road, give Eke Aku Market facelift, construct Aku Township roads, revive most moribund boreholes which made people to be trekking miles to get water for daily consumption, employ some of its people in the civil service of the state; prior to that, undertake a few hours inspection of the amenities in the town.

Had it been the leadership listens to peoples’ suffering, one would have loved that an audience be sought with the people at the grassroots in the area and the neighborhood of Ohebe, Lejja amongst others for their own side of the story. It will be a stunt revelation! No Godly person will like to pass Ohemuje and Useh portion of the road without having to rethink of his action!

In fact, premature deliveries notably inside vehicles are recurring feature amongst pregnant mums courtesy of the impassability of the road neglected over the years occasioned by inaction of the hitherto people shouldered with such responsibility! What a shame to our collective humanity and a society that boasts of frontline politicians and intellectuals while innocent lives of future leaders are being truncated and sent to graves untimely!

It is hoped that we will collectively sink our differences and see the true meaning of our cherished Motto (Aha Nna Anyi Ka Anyi Ji Aga) by gathering our acts together towards making our town great again.

Ochiaka Ugwu is an Abuja based Media Practitioner.