By Wilson Okereke, Afikpo
for over seven years, the people of Okpuitumo Autonomous Community in Abakaliki Local Government Area of Ebonyi State abandoned a bridge project at Azuoto, which had gulped millions of naira.
However, everything changed recently during a service in commemoration of the Community Day celebrations on January 11.
A critical remark by the Catholic priest in charge of St. Jude Parish, Ndiebor Okpuitumo, Rev. Fr. Wisdom Ohuche, was all the people needed to be fired up. His sermon touched people’s hearts and rekindled their consciousness for community development: “Going by the immense importance of the bridge, if completed, and the need to utilize millions of naira, which the community has invested in constructing the structure to this level, I believe that it is imperative to finish the work.
“Therefore, I charge everyone to live up to his responsibility to ameliorate the sufferings of the people who are living in the area. I want us to finish the construction work, which has been deserted since the past seven years, before embarking on other projects.”
The cleric called on the leaders of the community, government at all levels and individuals to assist financially towards the completion of the project and installation of power supply to ease means of livelihood in the area.
The member representing Abakaliki South Constituency in the Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Joseph Ununu, called on the people to pursue unity in all causes for their interest.
As chairman of the House Committee on Infrastructure Concession, Ununu promised to ensure that power supply was restored in all parts of the community, especially the areas where the traditional ruler, Ezeogo Stephen Ukpa, and another notable stakeholder, John Mbam, respectively, come from. He pledged that he would do everything within his reach to attract the attention of the state government for the completion of the abandoned Oto Bridge.
In his remarks, president of Okpuitumo Development Union, Chief Alfred Agbo, stated that January 10 of every year had been chosen by the members of the community for their annual celebration. He explained that the occasion as enshrined in the community’s constitution was meant for fund-raising for infrastructure and other needs of the community.
He appreciated all village heads, politicians, educationists, members of the council of chiefs and youths, among others, for working assiduously to ensure peace, unity and progress in the area.
Agbo also thanked the governor, Chief David Umahi, for appointing illustrious sons and daughters of the community into various political positions of trust adding that the people would ever remain supportive of his policies and programmes.
Chairman on the occasion, Chief Michael Nwovu, expressed satisfaction over the large turnout and hailed Agbo, whom he said had distinguished himself in governance.
Nwovu, chairman of the Non-Academic Staff of Universities in the Ebonyi State University, said the bridge would help to connect Azuoto to the community, assuring that the stakeholders would levy themselves to ensure that the project was done.
Daily Sun gathered that completion of the project would take about N10million