Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
Anambra State Association of Town Unions (ASATU), an umbrella body of the town unions of the 179 communities in the state, has unveiled a community monthly magazine tagged Anambra Community News.
The news magazine, which is designed to promote grassroots participation in the governance of Anambra State, would also serve as a source of information to the state government in terms of policy formulation and implementation.
Speaking at the presentation of the news magazine held at Emmaus House in Awka recently, the National President of ASATU, Chief Alex Onukwue said the magazine was packed full with news on successes and challenges of governance in communities.
Onukwue called on ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of the Anambra state government to partner with ASATU, saying it would effective information engagement between the grassroots and communities for a stronger and better Anambra state.
He said ASATU as a union has grown to become the veritable link between the government and communities of the state, thereby promoting strong democratic structure in the state. He said the Willie Obiano administration has embraced ASATU as a formidable partner in building a stronger and better Anambra State.
“It is our intention that this magazine will serve to encourage reading culture in our secondary and tertiary schools across the state. The Anambra Community News will work in line with the ‘Think Home’ philosophy of Governor Willie Obiano, as the magazine will be a source of authentic information on the successes being achieved by Ndi Anambra at home and the enormous prospects for successful investments,” he maintained.
On his part, Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene, the BoT Chairman of ASATU and President of Anambra State chapter of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, who described the news magazine as a source of history, good foundation and legacy from generation to generation, urged the editors to use it to promote peace, progress, unity and good governance.
The Ohanaeze leader also appealed to the town union executives in the state to always work for the collective interests of their communities.
“It should not be used to promote hate or fight the government or communities. ASATU stands to support the government in power to promote peace and unity and engender development across the state. Avoid publishing land dispute or communal crises as if you’re glorifying it because doing that will promote disunity among us (ASATU). Therefore, use the publication to showcase various developmental projects ongoing or completed in all communities including the N20m ‘Community Choose Your Projects,” Ogene added.
In a vote of thanks, the Chairman, Management Board of Anambra Community News, Prof. Charles Nwadigwe, while explaining that the medium publishes cultural, developmental news, events and others, implored the association to always furnish them with news and other vital information.
Nwadigwe, who is also the President-General, Ikem Ivite Community, said the content of the magazine is development information, issues bothering communities, giant strides made by the state government and milestones recorded by previous leaders among others, calling on the PG’s to continue promoting necessary information as every one of them is a correspondent for the magazine, stating that they have achieved a lot through the magazine.
Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano; the APGA House of Representatives candidate for Anambra East and Anambra West, Chief Chinedu Obidigwe; traditional rulers; youth wing of ASATU and other dignitaries sent in goodwill messages. They also picked some copies of the news magazine.
A leader in the state, Chief Ben Ezeabuogu, commended Chief Onukwue for producing the magazine, stating that it will inform others on various activities going on in other communities, calling for its sustainability.