Major General Ijioma N. Ijioma Rtd who recently emerged ALL FACT NEWSPAPER PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR 2021 and a recipient of the light of the world award from St. Stephen Anglican communion, Umuahia Diocese is at it again as he has awarded contract for road construction in his community worth over three hundred million naira (#300,000,000).
The retired general who hails from Umuhu -Ezechi in Bende LGA of Abia state, in his usual philanthropic gesture, awarded the contract through his foundation, Ijioma New Deal Foundation (INDF) for the construction of three roads in his community, which includes; 1.5kmAmazu-Umuokwe roads, 500meters Achi-Amugwu Road, 500meters Amazu-Amaeke, a total of 2.5 Kilometer of road.
The roads are designed to have a dual drainage construction to ensure free flow of water in order to prevent flooding and also ensure longevity of the road.
This is philanthropy taken to another level, it is unprecedented that an individual who is not in government will award a road contract with dual drainages from his personal confers.
Interacting with some indigenes of Umuhu-Ezechi like; Mazi Ejikeme and Koji Anthony, expressed their gratitude to the retired general for giving back to his community. They stated that they have wished for the roads to be constructed, however over the years nobody has paid attention to their plight.
The visible elated duo thanked Ijioma for coming to their rescue, pledging total support for him in any endeavour he may require their support.
Another indigene Mazi Oyeama Chima described Major General Ijioma as an illustrious son of Umuhu-Ezechi who served meritoriously in the Nigerian army, after his retirement has decided to give back to his community. He appreciated the retired general for his magnanimity of constructing their roads, adding that this project will indeed lift the development of their community and as well add value to their farm products, while praying to God to continuously keep and bless the general.
One of the engineers on site during the visit of Newsmen project tour team, Engineer Essien, assured that his company Nopze limited will execute the road project following the laid down best practices of the profession and make sure the community are happy including their clients.
Speaking also to Newsmen during the project tour , the facilitator of the road project, Major General Ijioma N. Ijioma said the project was motivated out of concern to see that his people get better road transport system to aid them commune comfortably with other communities and also increase their life expectancy.
He noted that Umuhu Ezechi have been faced with an age- long road challenge, however, help has arrived as the 3 road constructions will be a first step to better things to come in the community and Abia at large.
“Right from childhood, I have been a grass root person concerned about the wellbeing of my society, that road has been a major challenge to my community from childhood which made it difficult for us to transport items and even human movement and because I have always had the care of my community in my heart, as a captain in the Army, I provide that community with transportation means and that was why the first transportation company I launched with ten vehicles to make sure that people have access to move and go to other communities. I made sure I put it in Umuhu. Umuhu Ezechi Express, that’s what I named it.
So, that road has been a great challenge to us and that’s why now, I have taken the bull by the horn to do the road and you know that it is not the responsibility of an individual to do road, but when government fail as has been the case everywhere both at the local government level, state level, federal level, individuals with a kind of heart like me must be able to take up the responsibility.”
The retired general further stated that his zeal for a better Abia and encouraging the youths made him choose a road contractor who hails from the state.
“Charity must begin from home which is why I looked around and the person that is from Item and also from Abia, I have to give it to him because am community minded, am Abia minded, whatever we will do to support the youths of Abia, that is what we will do, and that’s the mind I want to build in our people.”
He assured that the project will not be limited to his community, but will also get to other communities in Abia whose roads are impassable. He called on his community members and others to continue praying for God to keep him, adding that as he continues to live and wax strong, better things will follow.
“They’ve been expecting this from me. They should pray to God to keep me because that is the beginning. As am there, more things will be done and that project is going to be a demonstration project because am not going to do it just for my community. Why I have given that individual that work is that everywhere I will touch, he is going to go with me. By February, am beginning a tour of the 17 local government areas. He will be in my entourage so that if there are communities that are impassable, as I know there are many, he will do it.
People should be able to move. In fact, this will increase people’s life span. One of the serious problem of people is movement. If you can move freely, you will increase your life expectancy but you have seen that Abia is under siege, even where you have a good road, we will build speed breaker that will damage your car. I will also attempt to do what am doing in my community for the rest of Abia within the scope of the limited finances of an individual.”
During the visit to the site, the project has started as heavy duty machines and caterpillars were already clearing the road in preparation for more active construction work.