The Chairman of Afikpo South Local Government Area, now known as Edda LGA, in Ebonyi State, Prince Ekuma Nkama Chima has revealed how his tenure combated incessant communal clashes, cultism and youth restiveness in the area.
Chima who is an in-law to the outgoing governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, also gave reasons why the governor named the state international airport after President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Council Chairman made revelations while speaking with newsmen in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.
He said: “The killings, the fightings is not what we are known for. We are known as peaceful people. We relate well with each other. We have a way of doing things but suddenly, it appeared that some people introduced things that are not known to our people and then, part of the challenge, was the issue of cultism.
“So, we tried to discourage our younger ones from participating in cultism. We tried to give them hope, that cultism leads to destruction and that they can become whatever they want to become without being cult members. Since we assumed office, we have paid less attention to those causing one problem or another and concentrated on those that are useful to society,” he stressed.
Chima, however, tasked the incoming administration to focus on building industries and housing schemes for civil servants and industrialise the state.
“The aspect I want the incoming administration to focus mostly is on industrialization. He should build industries even if they are small ones. It will go a long way to engage our youths. If the youths are engaged and have sources of livelihood, you will see fewer criminal activities in the state.
“The incoming administration should equally see a way of improving the living standard of workers in the state. The governor-elect should also see how to create a housing scheme. A housing scheme is one of the most challenges facing this state” he added.
The LG boss noted that the reason why the airport was named after Buhari was to show gratitude to the president. “If by just naming the airport to show gratitude to a man who had assisted Ebonyi State, I’m in for it hundred percent (100%). And so, I’m not among those criticizing the move of naming the airport after President Muhammadu Buhari who has done so much for Ebonyi people.
He maintained that ” naming of the state airport after President Muhammadu Buhari should not be an issue. The most important thing is the economic value of the airport to the state. If Governor David Umahi, in his wisdom felt that there is a need to show gratitude to a man who had sincerely assisted the state, just like the governor said, that there is no single request that the state made to him for assistance, that he (Buhari) did not approve for it for Ebonyi people” he stressed.
He also applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for granting autonomy to local government areas in the country.
“Well, autonomy is relative. For me, I can tell you, that we in Ebonyi have been enjoying local government area autonomy, because, the projects you see us doing these days, are because we have a cordial relationship with the state government. Although, if we are given the opportunity to run our local government areas hundred percent without interference, well, that will be a welcome development” he stated.