Raymond Ozoji, Awka
Ubuluisiuzor and Orsumoghu communities of Ihiala 2 state constituency in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State have bemoaned what they jointly described as poor representation, marginalisation and inequity in the production of house of assembly representatives. The constituency consists of Isseke, Mbosi, Lilu, Okija, Orsumoghu, Ubuluisiuzor and Azia respectively.
But the bone of contention is that other communities have produced house of assembly representatives beginning from 1979 till date except Ubuluisiuzor and Orsumoghu. These communities, as a result, have grappled with the dearth of social amenities and other infrastructure. However, the advent of Governor Willie Obiano has brought one and the only secondary school in Ubuluisiuzor community.
This however implies that it is time the people of Ihiala rose above politics of godfatherism, nepotism, inequity, acquisition of chieftaincy titles, buying cows for bereaved persons and the like. Godfatherism is said to have culminated into the underdevelopment of the council area with some communities not having a secondary school, health facilities and other social amenities that make life worth living. Such is the situation in Ihiala 2 state constituency.
The seeming political imbalance in the constituency prompted a veteran journalist and stakeholder in the politics of Ihiala local government area, Mr.Chuka Nnabuife, to speak vehemently against what he saw as injustice and inequity meted out on his community Ubuluisiuzor and Orsumoghu respectively, emphasizing that both communities had been politically relegated to the background since the creation of the constituency.
Prior to the building of Ubuluisiuzor community secondary school through Governor Willie Obiano’s community intervention project, he said school children had to trek about 20 kilometres in the rain and in the sun to attend school in neighbouring communities of Azia and Isseke. He described the situation as melancholic and pitiable. He further disclosed that the only primary school in Ubuluisiuzor community was the one built by the missionaries in the 1950s. The school is now in a very sorry and deplorable state. According to Nnabuife, it was the first government of APGA that built a 4-bedroom classroom to add to the old dilapidated structure of Ubuluisiuzor primary school donated to the community by the colonial masters.
Nnabuife also observed that in spite of the strategic location of Ubuluisiuzor community in the middle of the local government area, it was neglected and treated with levity due to what he termed nepotism as representatives from the constituency only focused on developing their own communities to the detriment of others also in the constituency. This according to him has retarded development not only in his community but also Orsumoghu as both communities have not produced house of assembly representatives.
He also posited that apart from the outright neglect and marginalisation of Ubuluisiuzor and Orsumoghu in the scheme of things, another trending issue of urgent public importance is the menace of cult groups in Ihiala local government area due to acute unemployment situation. He said secondary school cult groups, Okada riders’ cult and many others now abound in Ihiala town due to absence of job opportunities. Although he noted that the people of Ihiala were renowned for their art of industry, hard work and forthrightness, the sad realities of joblessness and abject penury have instilled deviant behaviours in many a youth leading to the escalation of criminal tendencies in the area.
He pointed out that rather than invest in the building of factories as well as creating an enabling environment for wealth creation and maximisation of youthful potentials, some money-bags in the area resort to being godfathers to selected few stressing that godfatherism politics has done more harm than good to the politics of Ihiala local government area.
Another salient issue raised by the veteran journalist was that Ihiala as one of the largest local government areas of Anambra state in terms of landmass and topography, should have been split into three separate local government areas to be at par with its contemporaries like Onitsha, Aguata, Nnewi, Owerri and a host of others that currently have more local governments carved out from them.
This, according to him, would create more political inclusion, balance, justice and equity in running the affairs of the people to avoid issues of segregation, marginalisation as well as poor political representation at all levels of governance as currently being witnessed in Ihiala 2 state constituency.