The Oasis Reporters
August 3, 2019
My late father; Chief Emmanuel Wigwe Ubani, had a late friend. He was a Teacher; a short man with a hunchback that played active football, not minding his health status. He hailed from Umuobasi-Amavo in present day Osisioma-Ngwa Local Government Area. His name was Manasseh Chiavolefu.
For polyglots that are familiar with Ngwa dialectics, Chiavolefu implies that there is no day that does not have its peculiar events and narratives. They could be good or bad.
The town of Umudike in Ikwuano Local Government Area of Abia State is, by every consideration, very strategic. No society grows beyond its level of investment and commitment in education.
Though Umudike is in Ikwuano Local Government Area, it is generally referred to as Umudike-Umuahia. Ofcourse, no visitor travelling from Umuahia to Umudike would notice the difference, except told. They are too proximal to each other that the geographical distance is not clear.
Umudike has gradually but systematically evolved into the Intellectual Hub of Abia State. The Town hosts National Root Crop Research Institute of Nigeria. In the same Umudike is located Michael Okpara University of Agriculture. Abia State University, Uturu, has a Campus for its Students of Distance Learning at Umudike, also.
Still in the same Umudike, Abia State University, Uturu, has its Faculty of Law. Besides, Umudike is home to the National Open University of Nigeria, NOUN.
It would not be forgotten that the famous Government College, Umuahia, which was established in 1929, only twenty years after King’s College, Lagos, by the British and regarded as the ‘Eton of the East’ in those days, that has in its record the credit of having produced global intellectual giants such as Chinua Achebe, Cyprian Ekwensi, Amadi Elechi, Ben Enweonwu, Gabriel Okara, Chukwuemeka Ike, Okoi Arikpo, Ken Sarowiwa, Jaja Wachuku and many others, shares a common fence with some public establishments located in Umudike.
In any normal society, where her best brains are being groomed is accorded maximum protection and safety. Such an area, no doubt, holds the future of the society, if human capacity development is anything to be considered.
Despite attendant concentration of student population in Umudike, the only major federal road that traverses the town is in a very deplorable state.
The road; Umuahia-Ikot Ekpene, is narrow, with too many sharp bends. With the volume of traffic on it, it had been expected that the Federal Government ought to have dualized it long before now.
Yesterday, the Ngwa dialectics of Chiavolefu took a consequential toll on the Faculty of Law of Abia State University, located in Umudike.
It was sadly reported that a driver of a Truck lost its control and rammed into a female Library Staff of the Faculty of Law of Abia State University, who was reportedly on her way to pick something up. Report had it that the scene of the accident was, indeed, a gory sight.
This death is one too many and painful. The Federal Government should come to the rescue of users of this all important road.
Thank God, the area has federal legislators that know their onions. Senator T A Orji of Abia-Central and House of Representatives member for Ikwuano/Umuahia Federal Constituency; Chief Samson Onuigbo, are worthy sons of the area and are also passionate about the plight of their constituents. They just have to rise to the occasion.
If the government would not be able to dualize the road, for goodness sake, it should undertake some urgent palliative measures on it.
Most importantly, in the meantime, the Federal Road Maintenance Agency is required to swing into decisive action, without any form of procrastination, by constructing Speed Breakers on the road, especially where these Institutions are sited.
Every hand should be on deck to save our students, workforce and future. Let us all join forces to make sure our Chiavolefu becomes a positive narrative.
Written By Sir Don Ubani; KSC, JP, Okwubunka of Asa
Sir Don Ubani is a former Commissioner for Information & Strategy, Abia State.