Drugs, Guns, Deaths were what finally got me packing from the City that I was born. I just turned eighteen and so many things were happening at the same time. We didn’t just wake up and lose 3 of my neighbours to armed robbery, there was a sequence leading up to that but give me a second please.

9th Mile City is a transit point for travellers, 9th Mile opens to adventure spots in Enugu and is a gateway to Enugu Metropolis. Home to companies like Coca-cola bottling company and Nigeria Brewery Plc for more than 10years and counting, blessed with one of the purest underground water in the whole of West Africa. Yet is unplanned, underdeveloped and an ecological disaster waiting to happen if drastic measures are not taken.

The City is a clear example of how my constituency Udi South has been neglected and abandoned for the past 30yrs without feasible developments. I Ajuluchukwu Benjamin Edechiene present myself for your service as a representative at the Enugu State House of Assembly to address the following issues as it affects my constituency and the State in general:

1. Basic Human Care
2. Environmental Protection
3. Job Creation

Basic Human Care:

In 2005, a neighbor ran to our favorite Chemist shop carrying her dying child who was suffering rising complications from prescription drugs. We rushed to help but we weren’t able to do very much and she died in my arms. I have never known of a health center growing up, all we had was expensive hospitals. We lost some many children, like my neighbours’ because we lacked basic health care, the very primary responsibility of a responsible Government.

2005 seems like a long time ago but is it? We still do not have functioning health care centers, equipped to meet the challenges of my people. More people have died because of lack or access to medical care. Health benefits are strange around here, if you can’t afford a hospital, you are left to die but our people shall die no more, because we will make Primary Health Care a top Government priority. The existing Centers will be equipped to function at full capacity and new centers brought closer to our people. Health benefits and insurance policies will be looked into and expanded to accommodate the very people who desperately need it.

Education is for all and the building block of any society. In 2011, I was among the surveyors that worked with Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) for the Primary Schools mapping. I mapped Udi and Oji-river Local Government. It was devastating seeing first-hand the shocking state of most of our State owned Schools. We can do better, we won’t stop at making sure that education is for all and a humanly schooling environment provided, we will equally make sure that they are well equipped with our community outreach programs for education. We can’t leave this alone for the Government, it is time we see to our future and decide what is best for us all.

Environmental Protection:
I keep going back to stories from my childhood because they influenced my world view. In the 90s, we used to have pipe borne water running in different communities. We had a reservoir that supplied water in case of shortage. Today, Enugu State Water Corporation has degenerated to the point that we can’t locate the water pipes in those communities. Now everybody is digging boreholes at 9th Mile for commercial purposes to supply both villages and the metropolis. My constituency is a special case because we sit at 400-700 meters above sea level, making it difficult to access water. Government must take on its role and make Water Corporation functional and effective again. Our underground water is at risk, and we must do everything possible to put an end to the danger. With a working Water Corporation, digging of boreholes will be moderated. We will make water available for our communities and continue with the Enugu water scheme that is near abandoned.
9th Mile will be industrialised in line with global best practices in the environmentally friendly way possible.

We have designed the Udi Wildlife conservation and recreational center, this ecotourism outlook will attract economic growth for our people and check the short-sighted excavation of sands which would only hurt our lands in the long run.

Remediation of the effected Coal Mining areas. Having worked with the Retired Miners Associations in the past few years on possible solutions after the abandonment by the Federal Government, I got to understand a little about the danger we are faced as a people. We will continue to work together on how to bring in an ecotourism program so we don’t forget the sacrifices the coal miners made to this nation when they bore the burden of our economic development.

Job creation
This is going to be the center stage of our involvement with the government. How do we create a sustainable employment for our teeming educated and skilled youths? The underlying effect of all that I have stated above also points to job creation. We must enact policies that will create an enabling environment for jobs and 9th Mile is at the heart of this. So many abandoned projects since 1999 will be brought back and an extensive master plan put to work to benefit all. We cannot forget the AVOP Nachi, 9th Mile International Market among others. Our priority is to create jobs and all available options will be explored from the get go.

We are at a critical juncture in our development as a people. We either get sunk by the failures we have now or we reset for a greater future. This isn’t the time for fine words; this is the time for critical planning to do the work needed to survive in these changing times.
I am a team player, I will engage my Constituency, we will achieve the sustainable development our posterity depends on.
We are not too young to make a difference. Join me in this quest by making a pledge to vote and support me.

Umu Oshie
Agbaja n’ine

I am Ajuluchukwu Benjamin Edechiene and I am ready to serve.

The post Not Too Young To Make A Difference – Edechiene AJ appeared first on Coalcity Connect.
Source: Coal City Connect

Author: Alexander Mezue

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