Magnus Eze, Enugu
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, all over Africa, recently had its community day; a day set aside to reach out to their neighbourhood as part of their Christian social responsibility.
The 12 wards/branches of the church in Enugu were not left out as they came out in their numbers and practically turned to engineers; providing remedial attention to the deplorable Akwuke road in Enugu South Local Government Area of Enugu state.
As early as 7am, members of the church of all ages were already on ground with work tools; shovels, wheel barrows, head pans, hoes, rakes, name it. For more than four hours, they worked assiduously to make the Akwuke road “manageable” for commuters.
First Counsellor, Stake Presidency and organising chairman of the programme, Lawrence Anuta told Daily Sun that they partnered different persons, groups and indeed the immediate community to carry out the project.
He listed their partners to include the House of Assembly member for Enugu South Rural State Constituency, Mrs. Onyinye Ugwu; Tricycles Riders’ Association in the area, Tipper Drivers’ Association, Akwuke Town Union, the traditional ruler and others.
Anuta who disclosed that the programme has been a yearly affair in the church for about a decade now, said “this year the church in Enugu decided to choose the Akwuke road to work on because it’s been very bad for a long period of time, and in working on any of these projects; we always partner with people that are around, residents, business owners, prominent people in the society and the government.”
According to him, the people donated sand; laterite, stones and other materials which they used in filling the bad portions and potholes.
He disclosed that the church also had two other projects running simultaneously that day; one of which was clearing of bushes and over grown trees around the Agbani Customary Court as well as working on the bad portions of road leading to the court.
Asked whether it was another form of evangelism, Anuta said: “We are not doing this as a form of evangelism; we’re doing it to touch the people, giving back to the society. It’s humanitarian work; we’re not looking at asking people to come join us or not. We have partnership with different groups; in fact, in some places we have Muslim groups working with us. What we’re trying to do is to see how we can help the society; giving back to the society we belong to irrespective of whatsoever religious affiliation that you have. So, you won’t see us preaching while we’re doing this.”
Chairman of Akwuke unit of keke riders’ association, Comrade Gabriel Aniagu who lamented the pitiable state of the road stated that their union was pleased when it got a letter from the church seeking partnership to work on the road.
Painting picture of the condition of the road, Aniagu said that staffers of the Scientific Equipment Development Institute (SEDI); an agency of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, located in the area, usually abandon their vehicles and use keke while coming to work.
He therefore, appealed to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, whom he said had promised to reconstruct the road to come to their aid: “We beg him to come and rehabilitate this road; it’s terribly bad. If it rains, the whole place will be flooded of which any motor or keke will breakdown, and be pushed out. The owner would be forced to go to mechanics for repairs. We beg him to come to our assistance.”