Former Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu was on Monday called out by some prominent people in Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu state over abandonment of multiple constituency projects attracted by National Assembly (NASS) members from the area.
Reports gathered reveal that the people, including traditional rulers, town union presidents and others, spoke during the presentation of the Awgu Community Constituency Project Tracking Report (2015–2018).
This report was sponsored by an Enugu-based non-governmental organisation, called Divine Era Development and Social Rights Initiatives (DEDSRI), in partnership with ActionAide Nigeria and the support of UKaid.
The Chairman of the Community Constituency Project Tracking Committee, Mr Julius Azinkpali, said that the projects were attracted by the former Deputy Senate President, Chief Ike Ekweremadu, and Mr Toby Okechukwu, representing Aninri/Awgu/Oji River Federal Constituency.
He said that the committee was perplexed to discover that most of the projects were either abandoned, poorly executed or yet to take off.
Azinkpali also added that a project for the “Maintenance of Youth Development Centre” at Nsulu Games Village, worth N10 million, got abandoned.
According to him, “Nothing was done about the project after site clearance, even when some of the projects were indicated to have been completed.
“Other failed and abandoned projects in the area include a N30 million Ogbuma Rural Road.
“The project was captured twice by a government agency and ministry at N30 million each. Only about 10 per cent work was done.”
He also listed other ill-fated projects to include Mgbowo Rural Road, Obuofia Ololi Erosion Control, Omuowo Junction–Amata Itukwu Erosion Control and Completion of Erosion Control at Umuhu Owelli.
Azinkpali said that his people were unhappy with the number of abandoned projects, which were claimed to have been completed in the area.
He said that the community did not have any presence of completed projects.
Responding to the report, Chairman of Awgu Traditional Rulers Council, Igwe Goddy Ekoh, said that they would appraise the report and seek explanations from their representatives on the true situation.
Ekoh, who is also the traditional ruler of Ihe community, said that time had come for the people to start holding their representatives accountable.
Earlier, the Executive Director, DEDSRI, Ms Ogechukwu Enwelum, said that the constituency tracking project was under the ‘Strengthening Citizens’ Resistance against Prevalence of Corruption’ project.
Enwelum said that the project funded by the UK aid was implemented in the state in partnership with Actionaide Nigeria.
When contacted, the Special Assistant to Ekweremadu on Project, Mr Jonathan Ivoke, said, “if you are tracking constituency projects, go and look for the documents. They are public documents,” he said.
On his part, Okechukwu said that the projects he attracted to the area were fully executed but was not aware that the projects were not functional after they were inaugurated.
“Members of the community confirmed that the borehole I attracted was working and that was why we inaugurated it.
“However, there is no structural arrangement by the community for the maintenance of the borehole,” Okechukwu said.