The citizens of Isiugwu in Enugu Ezike of Igbo Eze North LGA of Enugu state have set out to position the rural community for an all- round human and capital development. This was revealed on New Year day at the reformation of the Isiugwu Elite Association (ISEA), an umbrella organization for graduates and undergraduates from the village.
The association which was formerly known as Isiugwu Elite Youth Association was formed in 1999 by undergraduates of the community to encourage enrolment for higher education amongst members of the community. According to the newly elected ISEA chairman Mr. Chidi Eze, “the reformation became necessary since the original objective of encouraging enrolment into higher institution has been achieved. Isiugwu now has numerous undergraduates scattered in different schools within and outside Nigeria.” The chairman stated that what the community needed “was how to get the teeming fresh graduates from the community to be gainfully employed”.
Speaking after the election of executives, an Enugu based media practitioner and scholar who was elected the secretary to the association, Mr. Nduka Odo clarified that though the objectives the association had been expanded, education still remains the key target of ISEA. He enumerated other objectives of the development association to include to champion, collaborate and lead in the community development projects; to encourage, guide and promote career development of members and other persons in Isiugwu; to play vital role in the employment and job creation for members and the Isiugwu people at large; to undertake the attraction of projects and community development programmes for our community; and to serve as a check against illegalities, frauds and known wickedness that may affect the common good of our community
The secretary also decried the absence of development in Isiugwu, Enugu Ezike. He called on government and other development agents to partner with the association to bring development to the community. “There are no roads and health facilities”, he said.
“Even the rural electrification project in Isiugwu has been stalled”, he continued to say that “there is total absence of local, state, and federal government in Isiugwu, and Enugu Ezike in general. We are not even talking about political appointments which we don’t even have despite well qualified personalities; we are talking about social amenities that improve the standard of living for rural dwellers. Isiugwu deserves more.
“I recently discovered that Community Secondary School Isiugwu has the largest student population in Igbo Eze North. And you know Igbo Eze North is the third largest local government authority in Enugu state and unfortunately, the only rural LGA among the super three LGA. However, the Community Secondary School lacks teachers, classrooms and other learning facilities like laboratory, library and computer sets”, the ISEA scribe said.
A senior lecturer at the General Studies unit of Enugu State University of Science and Technology and a member of the community, Dr. Dele Maxwell Ugwuanyi chaired the electoral commission that organized the election of the ISEA executives. The university don charged the elected officials to employ their positions in service to the community since the ISEA is non-profit, community development oriented association. Others elected into positions included David Odu for Vice Chairman; Engr. Samson Ooda (former President of defunct ISUEYA) for financial secretary, Nurse Lovina Aako for treasurer; and Mr. Oliver Ameh, provost.
The traditional ruler of the community His Royal Highness (Igwe) Fabian Kanayochukwu Eke blessed the executives of the association during a courtesy visit to his palace. He charged them for sincerity and to “work in the general interest of the people of Isiugwu Ejagu Ozzi of Enugu Ezike Oba”. The executives also paid a courtesy visit to the parish priest of the St. Patrick‘s Catholic Church Isiugwu, Rev. Fr. Johnmartins Odugwu. The priest blessed them and admonished them to keep the association out f politicking but focus on championing human and capital development in the community.