Former Commissioner for Youth and Sports in Anambra State under the Peter Obi administration, Hon. Edozie Aroh, has stated that the Anambra State Permanent Orientation Camp at Mbaukwu/Umuawulu, was clearly the brainchild of the former Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency, Mr Peter Obi. Hon. Aroh demanded that the ‘glory’ associated with the said project should be given to Obi’s administration who initiated the project and master minded its planning, budgeting, financing and execution.
Aroh made this known in a statement made available to the press after Governor Willie Obiano claimed he initiated, executed and completed the project. The former commissioner chronicled the series of events that led to the project, recalling that the former NYSC Temporary Orientation Camp Site which was in the premises of Progress Secondary School, Umunya, was, at a time, under the Peter Obi administration, under dispute, when the Community and the Anglican Communion, under the leadership of His Lordship, Rt. Rev. Dr. Owen Nwokolo (Anglican Bishop on the Niger) protested continued use of the Secondary School for NYSC orientation because of the disruption of academic activities of the students. Aroh said that in response to the dispute, Obi sent a special delegation to the Community and the Anglican Communion, appealing that they allowed the 2013 Batch A NYSC members to complete their program at Umunya, while the state government worked on the NYSC Permanent Site already surveyed and mapped out at Mbaukwu/Umuawulu.
The former Commissioner for Youth and Sports disclosed that the State Budget of 2013 fully accommodated the construction of Awka Township Stadium and NYSC Permanent Site with all of its structural amenities which included all modern residential, recreational, sporting and paramilitary facilities as specified by NYSC Headquarters, Abuja. He also noted that in that same 2013, the contractors were mobilised to start work on the projects.
In his words, “the budgetary provision for the construction of NYSC Permanent Orientation Camp and that of the Awka Township Stadium were made ahead of time in 2012/13 State Budget.
“The financial outlay for the construction of both projects, like most other infrastructures budgeted were set aside in the respective Ministry’s bank coordinates/accounts.
“All necessary approvals were given by the then incumbent governor and the state EXCO and all necessary mobilisations as statutorily required were done for the construction to commence.”
Aroh however regretted that by 2014 when Obi left office, the Willy Obiano administration discontinued payment to the contractors, not minding the evident work the contractors had so far done. Unlike Awka Township Stadium however, he said construction works continued at NYSC Permanent Site, Mbaukwu/Umuawulu, because the contractor handling the project, ‘with a touch of ownership’ pumped in his personal funds to see that the NYSC Permanent Site was built in his hometown.
Appreciating the Obiano administration for “at least letting the NYSC Permanent Site survive construction, as against the Awka Township Stadium”, Hon Aroh added that “it would amount to robbing Obi to pay Obiano if Obi was not given adequate glory for the NYSC Permanent Site he initiated and planned its execution.”
Concluding, Aroh said: “The chronicle of events that preceded and led to the establishment of the NYSC Permanent Orientation Camp in Anambra State, clearly leaves no discerning mind in any doubt as to who ‘prepared the delicious soup that made the elders lick their elbows in ecstasy’.”