By Izunna Okafor
The outgoing President General of Ukpor in Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State, Mr. Emma Nwachukwu has described his administration as a remarkable one, blended with very affirming experiences.
Mr. Nwachukwu disclosed this while hosting newsmen to a conference on the occasion of handing over ceremony to his successor, Chief Izuchukwu IG Nwawulu, which held in Ukpor, the local government's capital.
According to him, his administration's success was very possible due to maximum cooperation and enormous support and received from his hardworking team, certain personalities and Ndi Ukpor in general.
While noting that his administration came up with the slogan "Ukpor Forward Looking" as their theme, he said, "At the inception of this administration, we came up with three clear-cut action plan aimed at addressing the most immediate needs of our community and a plan that will set our town on a progressive path."
These three action plans, he listed as 'restoration of electricity in Ukpor, reactivation of Nkwo-Oha Market (Ukpor Daily Market), locating constructing an Ultra-modern Civic Centre', even as he further highlighted the milestone his administration recorded in each.
On 'Electricity in Ukpor', which he said was the key priority of his administration, he recounted that prior to their arrival, there was 80 million electricity bill weighing the community down and threw it into darkness for 4 years, but disclosed that the hitherto outstanding amount has been negotiated down to N30m, out of which N10m has been paid to EEDC.
He also noted that the issues surrounding the once shut NEPA Office which meant that Ukpor people had to go to Amichi to pay EEDC bills or resolve electricity issues, have since been resolved by his administration, as their own Ukpor Service Centre has been resourced and installed within the NIPP Premises, for easy access to the people.
He said, "Today, I am pleased to inform Ndi Ukpor, non indigens and other residents that we have mads significant progress from what we met on ground. From about 8 active and functioning transformers and about 90% of Ukpor people without power supply, we have, through our ambitious and strategic drive, been able to achieve about 40 active and functioning transformers and ensured that all nooks and crannies of Ukpor now have access to light (once available).
He enumerated the feats achieved by his administration in transforming Afor Ukpor which is the community's central and unifying market into an urban market, as well as the milestone they recorded in activating Nkwo-Oha Market (Ukpor Daily Market) which he revealed, remains one of the most ambitious economic projects in Ukpor, constructed about 34 years ago, with spacious parks and an abattoir that ranks amongst the best five in Anambra State.
He regretted that such a huge market (Nkwo-Oha) has remained unused for more than two decades, thereby denying the people opportunity of having a place to carry out commercial activities on a daily basis instead of waiting for every four Afor market days.
He also noted that in their move to activate the sleeping economic potentials of the market, his administration embarked on immediate provision of the most needed facilities that will fast-track the activation, construction of linking roads to increase access to the market and its garage, refurbished the abattoir, the toilet facilities and the borehole, extended water reticulations to vital points in the market, provided security lights and maintained regular cleaning and clearing of the market.
On Ultra-modern Ukpor Civic Centre, Mr. Nwachukwu said his administration succeeded in getting two locations for the siting of the Civic Centre, but however regretted that Obuno which is the most preferred location slowed down the speed of the fast paced development movement, as local intrigues and politics within the donor community —Umudim Orioha village —arrested their developmental efforts.
Nevertheless, he maintained that his administration's dream of bequeathing Ukpor with an Ultra-modern Civic Centre is half fulfilled, even as he expressed optimism and confidence that the incoming administration shall "lay the foundation block early enough."
Aside physical projects, he also stated that his administration harmonised the Ukpor traditional calendar and put a refined touch to the mode, means and ways of celebrating Ukpor new yam festival and other cultural festivities celebrated in the community, embarked social orientation, cultural awareness and revalidation of the glorious values that Ukpor is known for through the ages, as well as successfully hosted the 2019 edition of Asara Ukpor, which is a cultural festival held once in every decade.
While highlighting some of the challenges encountered by his administration, Mr. Nwachukwu further appreciated those who contributed in one way or the other towards the success of his administration, to include the Traditional Ruler of the community, HRM Igwe Dr. Felix N. Onyimadu; Chief Mbazulike Amechi who is a former Minister of Aviation and Grand Patron of U.I.U.; his predecessor, Col. A.A.Ogunna; the outgoing Secretary General and incoming President General, Chief Izuchukwu IG Nwawulu; Dim O. Nnakife, Chairman, U.I.U. Board of Trustees; his First Vice President, Col. Martins Azuka Igwe; his Second Vice President, Sir Motimor Mojekwu; Ukpor Day Committee Chairman, Mr. Odili Ujubuońu; Hon. Johnbosco Akaegbobi, member representing Nnewi South Constituency Two in Anambra State House of Assembly; Prince Clems Okoli, the Electoral Committee Chairman for 2020 Ukpor General Election; Mazi Chidi Orjika, the Director of Publicity for both the outgone administration and the new administration; Chief Marcellus Nwokeji's Family; Chief Emeka Ibekwe; Mr. Anselm Iheukwu Ahanonu; Most Revd. Fr. Anthony Obele, the U.I.U. Central Working Committee, among many others.
The event featured touring and inspection of the completed and ongoing projects executed by the outgoing administration, which include the reactivated Nkwo Oha/Ukpor Daily Market (where timber dealers —led by Atnetus Ojinika —are already carrying out their business activities); open shops in Afor Ukpor Market, Borehole and toilet facilities in Afor Ukpor Market, renovated and refurbished Ukpor Magistrates Court, among many other physical projects delivered by his administration.