Grassroots Development: Relief as Itchi community in Enugu State gets brand new ‘Maternal and Healthcare Complex’
- We are Governor’s ‘foot-soldiers of development’, say Council Chairman
By Chidi Omeje
Reprieve came to the people of Itchi community in Igbo Eze South Local Government Area of Enugu State when a fully completed maternal and child healthcare facility was commissioned by the state governor, Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, penultimate week. The new healthcare facility was constructed by the state government as part of its healthcare development programmes in rural areas of the state.
The governor, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof Simon Ortuanya thanked the community for the rousing welcome and for their patience and various efforts put together to bring about the completion of the project. He reassured them that the state government under the caring leadership of Rt Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has the interest of the community at heart and will certainly bring more dividends of democracy to the people.
In his own address to the community, the Executive Chairman of Igbo-Eze South LGA, Dr. Peter Andy Omeje, thanked the traditional rulers and people of Itchi for their hospitality. He specifically praised the Unique Mothers in the community and across the LGA for their patience, resilience and tenacity in the upliftment of the political consciousness of the people.
He noted that before the coming of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the story of healthcare facilities in the council area has been a sad tale. He said the coming of the governor has changed the narrative, noting that the governor is reputed to have constructed the first asphalted road in the community funded by the State Government.
Mayor Omeje reminded Igbo-Eze South people that the ‘Type Three Hospital’ which Igbo-Eze South benefited is ready for commissioning, promising that His Excellency understands the needs of the people. He noted that Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as a friend of all has “touched the lives of various strata of the society from market women to commoners in the streets”. He pointed out that as foot-soldiers of the governor, their duties among others, include representing him by complimenting his efforts in rural development.
The Chairman who is known as exponent of ‘zero protocol in administration’ listed out a number of completed and ongoing projects his council administration is embarking upon, including an ultra-modern hospital in Enyanwu-Enyasi which he said has been completed and ready for commissioning; rehabilitation of a general hospital in Ovoko Akprokwe. According to him, in Ikolo Ibagwa-Aka, a water borehole has been completed while in Alor-Agu, a completed Community Borehole is waiting for overhead water tank. Other completed projects the Chairman listed include, Afor Unadu, Orie Igbo-Eze, Nkwo Ibagwa-Aka and the LGA headquarters Modern Toilet Facilities, among other.
Earlier in their welcome address, elated members of Itchi community represented by their traditional rulers expressed their joy and relief while thanking the governor and the local government chairman for coming to their rescue with the healthcare facility which was being commissioned and other development projects promised them. According to them, Itchi community has been in throes of dilapidation and neglect prior to the coming of the council Chairman, Mayo Andy and of course Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi who have shown more than passing interest in the affairs and concerns of the community and its neighboring towns and communities.
Going down the memory lane, the community leaders stated that as a border community to Kogi State, they had difficulty accessing health services in the metropolis, and this led Itchi community to undertake hospital project immediately after the Nigerian independence. They however noted that during the civil war, Nigerian soldiers camped in the town and wreaked havoc on the building materials. The soldiers used the blocks for road blocks and fire tripods, while wooden frames of the hospital project were used as firewood. As a result of this, the spirit and zeal to build a community hospital was dampened until 1976 when the attention of the then Military Government of old Anambra State led by Captain Sampson Emeka Omerua, constructed a cottage hospital commissioned on 23rd July, 1987.The hospital then provided health services to surrounding communities of Unadu, Nkalagu Obukpa and Alor-Agu all in Igbo-Eze South.
They thanked the governor for the beautiful edifice but noted that 75 percent of works on fencing with gates and security house, electricity etc, have been done through communal efforts. They appealed for more assistance to complete the fence for effective security and land-scaping to cushion the debilitating effect of erosion and maintenance of staff quarters that have become obsolete after years of disuse.
*additional reports by Cletus Nkem Ossai