Communities in Nike have listed roads, employment, health infrastructure, industrialisation, education, and employment as development priorities facing them, urging the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the State, Dr. Peter Mbah to address the needs when elected governor in 2023.
Pledging their votes to Mbah, they also lamented the activities of land speculators, whom they said had made communities poorer.
The communities spoke on Thursday during town hall meetings with the Dr. Mbah at Ugwogo Nike, Headquarters of Mbuluiyiukwu Development Centre and Emene, headquarters of Mbulujodo Development Centre both in Enugu East LGA.
Speaking, former Senator representing Enugu Senatorial Zone, Senator Gilbert Nnaji and Member representing Enugu East/Isi-Uzo Federal Constituency, Hon. Cornelius Nnaji, said the construction of the Ugwogo Nike-Agbogazi Nike-Ubahu-Owo road would enhance rural access and catalyse socio-economic development of the area.
On their part, Rev. Fr. Cornelius Uwakwe regretted lack of a secondary school or hospital for the people of the area and urged Dr. Mbah to help reduce the hardships of the people, while Rev. Fr. Chimezie Ani, who harped on the agricultural potentials of Nike communities, urged the PDP gubernatorial candidate to elevate the state to agricultural processing and marketing hub when elected.
A woman leader, Mrs. Helen Ugwuoko lamented a situation where women in labour travelled all the way to Enugu town to get medical attention in such emergency situations, hence resulting in many fatalities.
She called for Mbah’s intervention in this area as well as women in the areas of women empowerment and youth empowerment through skill acquisition and job creation when elected.
“There is no employment anywhere. Some of our graduates have spent over 15 years with us at home and the hardship is too much for us to bear”, she stated.
The traditional ruler of Ogbeke Nike, Igwe Dennis Ekette, while pledging the people’s support for the PDP gubernatorial and other candidates, however, called on Dr. Mbah to help bring the perennial water scarcity facing the rural communities of Nike to an end.
While a community leader, Hon. Gab Onu called for the dualisation of Enugu-Opi-Nsukka road, a former lawmaker, Hon. Joseph Agbo, called for decisive action to end the menace of land grabbers in Nike.
“We are supposed to be rich given our vast lands, but land speculators have made us poor. We want you to end this as well as the injustice done to our people in the Enugu State public service”, he stressed.
On his part, the council chairman of Enugu East LGA, Hon. Livinus Anike, described Emene Nike as the industrial hub of Enugu State and called for infrastructural renewal of the area.
He equally called on Dr. Peter Mbah to prioritise the revitalisation of state-owned companies such as Sunrise Flour Mills, Emene.
Responding, Dr. Mbah assured the people that most of their needs were already captured in his manifesto.
He reiterated his resolve to construct 10,00km of roads, prioritise rural development, and robust industrilisation if elected.
“We have plans to set up a N10 billion Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises revolving fund.
“We have an inclusive economic development plan to ensure that nobody is left behind because whatever affects the weakest in our society affects us all.
“Of course, we cannot develop our economy without a healthy workforce, hence we will rejuvenate and equip our healthcare system, including the primary health centres to deliver 24-hour service”, he stated.
Dr. Peter Mbah is touring the 68 Local Government Development Centres of the Enugu State for town hall meetings with the people of the state.