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Uneven development cause of rural-urban drift—Agubuzu

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The Chairman, South-East Council of Traditional Rulers, Igwe Lawrence Agubuzu, has identified uneven development as the major cause of rural-urban drift and ungoverned spaces used by terrorists in the country.

Agubuzu said this during his remark at the first Founder’s Day Lecture of the Enugu State University of Medical and Applied Sciences, Igbo-Eno near Nsukka in Enugu State on Friday.

According to him, I call on all political leaders in our country to be aware of the demographic and security dangers inherent in an uneven development of all parts of the country.

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“Lack of development and amenities lead to rural-urban drift of population and to the availability of ungoverned spaces for terrorists and bandits in the neglected parts of the country,” he said.

He said that some of the County Councils created by the Oliver Lyttleton Constitution of Nigeria 1954, which are now Local Governments, are still waiting for the envisaged political, economic, educational, medical and infrastructural development, 70 years (1954-2024) after.

The chairman noted that the lucky ones (politicians) have monopolized every aspect of development in education, health, security, roads, water, electricity etc to their areas without fair consideration for even development.

“In citing this university here instead in one of the neglected 1954 County Council Headquarters which I enumerated earlier in these remarks, the former Governor was following the unfortunate Second Republic example of some Governors establishing universities in their backyards with public funds.

“I consider such development in the Second Republic unfortunate because it was not so in the First Republic when Nigeria was led by selfless and patriotic leaders.

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“Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe was an indigene of Onitsha town in the present Anambra State. He established a university in Nsukka town (a few kilometers from here) in the present Enugu State.

“The Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello, was an indigene of Sokoto in the present Sokoto State. He established a university in Zaria town in the present Kaduna State.

“Chief Obafemi Awolowo was an indigene of Ikene town in the present Ogun State. He established a university in Ife town in the present Osun State.

“I call on the present generation of our political leaders to emulate the selflessness and patriotism of the leaders of Nigeria’s First Republic,” he said.

Agubuzu, who is Chairman Emeritus of the Enugu State Council of Traditional Rulers, noted that an institution’s Founder’s Day is a Day to remember and honour the founder of the institution.

He said that the unique university, located in a unique place was conceived and delivered under unique circumstances by a unique person, former Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who remains an inimitable and inscrutable politician.

“He deserves to be acknowledged and honoured not just for founding this university but for the lightning speed with which he did so in the twilight of his second tenure as Governor of Enugu State.

“It is befitting that we congratulate the former Governor for this remarkable achievement and legacy,” he said.

Agubuzu, who is the Traditional Ruler of Ezema Olo Kingdom in Ezeagu Local Government Area of Enugu State, noted that the new university also needed intensive care to survive.

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“That critical intervention came from the current Governor of Enugu State, Gov. Peter Mbah, whose commendable, prompt and unfailing support to the new university in all ramifications ensured its survival and growth,” he added.

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