“Ahamefula: The Story of an LGA Bedeviled by Leadership Failure”
Ikwuano is a Local Government Area in Abia State, Nigeria with its headquarters being Isiala Oboro.
Made up of 57 ancient villages, Ikwuano sits on an area of 281 km², a population of about 437,893 and is bounded by Ini LGA, Obot Akara LGA both of Akwa Ibom State; Isiala Ngwa South, Umuahia South, Umuahia North, and Bende LGAs, in Abia State. Ikwuano Local Government Area can be referred to as the food basket of Abia State basically because of the rich agricultural nature it is endowed with.
Ikwuano as the name implies is derived from the coming together of four (4) related brothers namely Oboro, Ibere, Ariam-Usaka and Oloko. Ikwu (relations/relatives) and anọ (four) combined to make the name Ikwuano. Ikwuano LGA was among the local government areas that were created on the 27th of August 1991 when the General Ibrahim Babangida administration created Abia State from the old Imo State. It was carved out of the old Ikwuano/Umuahia Local Government Area and is currently one of the six LGAs that make up Abia Central Senatorial District.
Ikwuano houses the famous Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike; National Root Crops Research Institute, as well as the prestigious Government College, Umudike.
Besides being an agricultural power house and the connecting hub between two oil producing state capitals– Umuahia (Abia State) and Uyo (Akwa Ibom State)–Ikwuano has produced over five leading academic Professors, numerous academic Doctorate Degree holders, medical doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc. Ikwuano has also produced various Military Generals and other top ranking military officers both serving and retired; two former Military Governors; the first Senator to represent the old Odida Anyanwu County encompassing, Umuahia North and South up to old Bende; two Members of the House of Representatives; Ministers of Federal Ministries; various State Assembly representatives including during the old Imo State legislative Assembly; political party leaders at the national level; etc. It has also produced various accomplished entertainment practitioners both in Nollywood and the Nigerian music industry; public health practitioners; insurance and banking gurus; accomplished business men and women living both within and outside the country; renowned football players including Kenneth Omeruo of the Super Eagles; a host of renowned clergy men and women; etc.
Ikwuano has also had a good number of state commissioners who have handled first rate Ministries in Abia State such as Lands and survey, Works, Finance, Commerce and Industry, Youth Development, etc. The LGA has also produced many Permanent Secretaries both at the state and federal levels, acclaimed accountants and auditors, numerous Senior Special Assistants and Special Advisers to the Governors of Abia State spanning several administrations. Indeed, as a people, Ikwuano has been blessed with vast human resources.
From Nkalunta through Elemaga to Azunchai, the fertility of Ikwuano soil has enhanced the farming and production of cocoa such that the LGA produces over 150 tons of cocoa annually. Palm fruits’ production is estimated to be over 200 tons each harvest season. Production of other agricultural products like vegetables and cassava also run into tens of tons each harvest season. Yet we do not have any food storage facility either privately owned or by the government.
Ikwuano is blessed with a very large deposit of kaolin clay in Obunta (kaolin is the most important ingredient in the production of porcelain ceramics and paints). Nature in Ikwuano is really at its best and there are huge prospects of tourism if developed. Known for our production of palm wine, we had one of the first palmwine bottling factories in the South East.
It was very important to provide this background of Ikwuano so that the reader is aware of the huge prospects within the LGA.
Yet despite being a strategic local government area for Abia State, and arguably the state’s biggest food basket, Ikwuano has continuously suffered neglect from the government. Even when her own children get elected, not much difference is seen. In fact, it is part of public opinion that Ikwuano’s political sons have positioned themselves in such a low manner that only the crumbs are handed to them. This is disgraceful for a local government area that can contribute immensely to the Internally Generated Revue of the state if appropriate actions are taken. The local government area also boasts of qualified and innovative children who should be able to stand toe to toe with the best in the world.
*Along comes Ahamefula Development Initiative, Ikwuano.*
As time ticks and the need to lay a proper foundation for the elevation of Ikwuano during the 21st century becomes increasingly urgent, a number of Ikwuano sons and daughters all over the world, came together and decided to take the fate of the local government area in their own hands. Thus, the Ahamefula Development Initiative, Ikwuano was born. Already, this massive movement has begun to build structures even to the point of having village cells. It is an initiative solely defined by one thing: drive for a sustainably developed Ikwuano anchored on the principles of leadership accountability, harnessing the human and natural resources available to the LGA to develop it sustainably, enforce the LGAs place in the scheme of things in Abia State and Nigeria. It is simply framed by a vision of a prosperous, peaceful, sustainably developed and united Ikwuano foundationed by the principle of Ikwuano First.
…to be continued.
*Note* : This is the opening of a series which will run over the next weeks. Watch out for more.
Photo: National Grain Reserve, Olori. Abandoned for years now.