In our efforts to revitalize, rejuvenate, and re-galvanize Igbo Nsukka in order to reclaim all of her lost glory and treasures, the IGBO NSUKKA UNITED FRONT dispatched a delegation to the coastal town of Ogurugu in Enugu State’s Uzo-Uwani local government area for an on-the-spot assessment of what remains of the only seaport used by the colonists in Northern Igbo land and General Olusegun Obasanjo’s Military Regiment first built the airport as an aerodrome.
What our delegation discovered throughout the cruise would be enough to break a giant’s heart.
Because of its (Ogurugu) historical connection with the early European (whitemen) traders, the UAC, JOHN HOLT, and others who traded in local produce such as palm oil, palm kernel, timber logging, fishes, and so on, if it had been handled differently by succeeding governments, it should today be at similar levels of development and city awareness as Onitsha, Anambra State.
All of these goods/wares were created or carried to OGURUGU port from all around Igbo Nsukka, and then sent to Onitsha, Lokoja, and the rest of the globe. The village of OGURUGU is now a shadow of its former existence, with artifacts of European presence strewn about.
THE OGURUGU AIRPORT
OGURUGU Airport is located in the city of OGURUGU. Uzouwani may sound like a science fiction or fantasy scenario, yet it is empirically genuine and real.
It was reported to have been awarded by Gen Olusegun Obasanjo’s military administration. We found sturdy structures in a huge stretch of land at the airport. We discovered the runway, tarmac, control stations, and other elements that make up an airport or airstrip with obvious evidence of absolute abandonment, deterioration, and looting.
The most surprising discovery we discovered at the Airport was the previous Minister of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Charles UGWU, converting the Aerodrome facility to personal usage. It was discovered that he was utilizing it for rice milling and re-bagging under the name Tara Agro Company Ltd.
During our conversation with a community leader named ONWUEME MOSES, the son of the Eze Ala who donated the land to the Federal Government for the construction of the Airport between 1977 and 1978, we learned that a man named CLEMENT CHINEDU from Imo state claimed to have purchased the facility from the Federal Government and sold it to the Fmr. Minister, MR. CHARLES UGWU, the Director of TARA AGRO COMPANY LTD.
We also learned that the Fmr Minister does not want the public to be aware of the existence of such a facility. In an interview with one of the supervisors who worked at the airport in the 1970s, he stated that work at the airport ceased when a new administration was formed in 1979, and the civilian government’s focus switched away from OGURUGU Airport.
We, the IGBO NSUKKA UNITED FRONT, have resolved to take further steps and obtain clarifications on how the land was acquired by the Federal Government, and why such a large area of land given to the government by the community for developmental purposes should be converted to private use by the Minister. (See the lovely Airport facilities below.)
THE SEA-JETTY OF OGURUGU (SEA PORT)
The Ogurugu inland Sea Port, from which Colonialists entered Northern Igbo Land and from which the entire Igbo nation in this part of the world traded their goods and transported their agricultural products to the outside world, especially through Onitsha, is another large modern facility in OGURUGU town that has been abandoned.
We were also shown the ruins of the Commercial Bank, which was utilized by colonists and Igbo traders for transactions in Ogurugu.
According to the information we got, when our Governor, Rt Hon Ifeanyi UGWUANYI, was Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Marine and Ports Authority, he was interested in the correct rehabilitation of the Sea Jetty and the right dredging of the Omambala/Mabolo River.
Although UGWUANYI guaranteed that the development of the sea jetty began in earnest with some construction on the ground, people we spoke with said that work has ceased at the Sea Jetty and that they are baffled as to why such a life-saving and sustaining infrastructure should be abandoned. (as can be seen in the photos below)
We will investigate the reasons for the abandonment and work with the appropriate authorities and individuals to have the sea-jetty re-opened for the economic growth and development of our region, as well as the empowerment of our people.
IGGAH OIL FIELDS
It’s heartbreaking that oil fields under Iggah Land in Enugu State’s Uzo Uwani LGA are now said to be in Anambra State, with Anambra State’s indigenous oil company, ORIENT, exploiting oil beneath the Iggah Land.
Ndi Igbo Nsukka nay Ndi Enugu State have yet to be told why Fmr-President Goodluck Jonathan decided to commission the oil fields at Iggah Community, while Anambra State reaps the benefits and is simultaneously declared an oil-producing state, rather than Enugu State, where the oil fields are located! The advantages of having an oil-producing state cannot be overstated, and these advantages should go to Enugu State rather than Anambra State.
We therefore call on all well-meaning sons and daughters of Igbo Nsukka, as well as the Enugu State Government, led by our able Leader and brother, to rise and investigate this outright intimidation and unlawful siphoning of our natural resources at Iggah, as well as the abandoned OGURUGU Airport, OGURUGU Sea Jetty, and other similar projects.
It is still not too late to do what is necessary and adequately investigate what occurred in the aforementioned abandoned ventures.
Mazi Vladimir Chimaobi reporting, Obinwannem News / 23 November 2021