Any Ogbunike native that came home last December will definitely feel sorry for the community, particularly with that wicked decision to grade our roads on Christmas Day, of all days in 2016! Nna erh, dust gbulu mmadu egbu. But you know, the case of Ogbunike and Obiano is like the story of Blind Men And An Elephant: I’m sure you’ve come across that tale.
It is a story of a group of blind men (or men in the dark) who touch an elephant to learn what it is like. Each one feels a different part, but only one part, such as the side or the tusk. They then compare notes and learn that they are in complete disagreement. Therefore, I’m not surprised that in the case of obvious lack of government presence in my community is generating diverse views. Notwithstanding, there’s always the truth; facts are there to show that this government has not done well for Ogbunike.
Recall that on June 12, 2014 (I think I’m right with the date), Governor Obiano paid a special visit to Ogbunike; that’s about less than four months after he was sworn in as Governor of Anambra State. That ‘August visit in June’ saw Akpokuedike visit Ogbunike Cave, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that had been abandoned for years. Standing right in front to the sacred Ogba (ogbunike Cave), the governor vowed to transform the historic Ogbunike Cave to a first class tourist haven.
The governor, who stormed the ancient Cave with select members of his cabinet to see it in its naturally preserved state further maintained that his administration would transform the cave into a first class leisure world with modern facilities and a five-star hotel located within the area. He said the proposed resort would incorporate a modern recreational facility for children and all the facilities that would make for a perfect holiday getaway and ensure the preservation of its pristine outlook. Good one if you ask me.
Earlier, the governor had flagged off construction work on the Ugwu-Nwasike – Azu-Ogbunike – Azu-Amawa – Osile – Ifite-Umueri – Saint Monica College Ogbunike Cave road and promised that more roads leading to the heritage site would soon be flagged off as well. This was in June 2014.
In his opening remarks on the construction of the access road to the cave, the Commissioner for Works, Arc. Callistus Ilozumba (I doubt if the man is still holding same office because they keep reshuffling cabinet these days), informed that the 8 kilometer road, which links Oyi (my LGA) and Idemili North local government areas of the State was awarded at the contract sum of N1.4 billion and has a completion period of 18 months.
He assured that the Ministry would sustain strict supervision and urged the benefitting communities to report any attempts to endanger the road to the appropriate authorities. Now, you see why someone needs to speak up? Obiano must hear this!
Forget the cave project first; if we are to follow the 18-month period stipulated by Obiano and his government for the completion of this particular road, it means that the project should have been completed by December 2015. This is January 2017, that project is yet to be delivered; you can go and verify it. Mere visiting Ilo Nkwo Amawa where the contractors abandoned their equipment for months now, will tell you that this government is not serious with Ogbunike.
Now, my friend Ifeanyi Aniagoh (Senior Special Assistant to Obiano on Social Media) complained that lack of resources, as a result of recession was, responsible for the inability of Obiano to fulfill his promises to Ndi Ogbunike, Anambra State, taxpayers and his in-laws! That’s ok. But let’s not forget that, up till August 2014, the price of crude was $104 per barrel. And as at June of 2014 when this contract was awarded, FAAC monthly allocation for Anambra was at N27.65billion (just use your google). This Ifeco’s excuse does not hold water for me, I don’t know about you though.
Now, there’s a road opposite Oye Olisa Market in Ogbunike; I think its Mbaekwe Road. That road links Ogidi to Abatete, down to Oraukwu. Find out, how long did it take Obiano to finish the road? I doubt if they worked more than three months there. But going to three years now, Obiano and his contractors are still scratching the surface on an 8-kilometer road that should have lasted for 18 months. Now you see why Willie is really not working in Ogbunike? But in this era of stomach infrastructure, don’t be surprised to hear some people screaming ‘Willie is Willingly Working’ from beer palours… it’s allowed in politics.
However, my conclusion is that the Obiano and his government don’t want that road completed. For whatever reason, only the governor and his league of Ogbunike political appointees can explain. The earlier he mobilized the contractors back to site, the better for his second term bid.
As for Ogbunike Cave project, it’s a matter for another day. Let me come and go so that I will not come and go and die…