Since Paul OsuyiAsaba
For To accelerate the development of Ubulu-Unor, an agrarian community in Aniocha South Local Government Area in Delta State, the Progressive Vanguard Association (PVA) was inaugurated.
Members of the elite group are drawn from accomplished professionals in various fields who are native to the community. In addition to being from the city, a potential member must be a graduate.
One of the association’s goals is to stop the underdevelopment of the city through the educational and professional empowerment of young people and to divert their attention from crime and the get-rich-quick syndrome that led to the rituals of l ‘money.
During the inauguration, the president of the association, Paul Ugo Nwadiei, said that PVA had metamorphosed from the Federated Association of Ubulu-Unor Students (FUSA), which initially aimed to encourage students to continue their studies beyond the secondary level.
Nwadiei called the inauguration an epoch-making PVA, saying the association came to imprint its footprints in the sands of Ubulu-Unor by facilitating its development.
“Today a rainbow stretches across the deep blue sky over our city, with one message, the rain is gone. Gone are the dark clouds that held us down,” he said .
According to him, the shrewd, articulate, intelligent, dynamic, energetic and committed people decided to come together to “contribute to the development activities” of the community.
He said this would be achieved through educational support, scholarship programs, mentorship, entrepreneurship and skills building among others, insisting that PVA is committed to ensuring that young people of Ubulu-Unor are becoming forces to be reckoned with.
Besides scholarship programs, Nwadiei said the association will provide tables, desks and chairs for teachers and students, as well as libraries and amenities in schools.
He added that the association would invest in agriculture to provide food and employment for young people.
“With increasing insecurity and other social vices like armed robbery, kidnapping, Internet fraud, popularly known as Yahoo Yahoo, money rituals, we should try to educate our young people that this is not the way to go but rather through hard work in education and skill acquisition.
“Hopefully, the knowledge and skills acquired will help create wealth, peace of mind and bring about sustainable development that will drive the development of our city forward.
“So today, once again, let us move forward, driven by the power of our mission, inspired by the primacy of our vision and emboldened by the strength of our solidarity,” he said.
In his remarks, the Obi of Ubulu-Unor and Second Deputy Chairman of the Council of Traditional Rulers of Delta State, Kikachukwu Afamefuna, stressed the importance of education and called on all sons and daughters of kingdom to support the initiatives of the PVA.
The monarch thanked the members of the association for having seen fit to come to their homes and help in the growth and development of the city: “We have, at different times, benefited and still benefit from their contributions aimed at build a better society.
“The re-engineering of this association as a child of necessity requires the cooperation of all well-meaning citizens of Ubulu-Unor to make it grow.”
For his part, the General Chairman of the Ubulu-Unor Development Association (UUDA), Austin Ogbechie, pledged to partner with the association to achieve the development goals of the community.
Stressing the importance of peace and security, Ogbechie said the local vigilante group in the area was not effective, however adding that a recently completed and furnished police station would soon be inaugurated.
He regretted that the skills acquisition center built by Ndudi Elumelu as part of his constituency projects for Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency lay fallow and urged the PVA to make good use of it.
In a lecture titled: Education as a catalyst for human and community development, Sir Peter Iwegbu charged the association to be the nucleus for the development of the town of Ubulu-Unor.
Iwegbu stressed the importance of education, urging PVA to come up with a long-term plan on how to produce a new generation of professionals in various fields within a number of years to come.
Also, in his conference entitled: The place of young people in a country of our dreams, Jeff Mokobia, professor of French-speaking African literature, instructed the association to use his energy and vigor to advance and develop Ubulu-Unor.
Professor Mokobia lamented the dearth of good role models in the community, a development that has given room for young people to engage in anti-social activities to enrich themselves. He therefore urged PVA members to change the narratives.
The highlight of the inauguration ceremony was the swearing in of the executive and other members of the association.
The association also awarded posthumous awards for outstanding performance, excellent performance and good leadership to the late Chief LS Uwafili, late Engr. Chiedu Kassim and the late Samuel Ebom for their contributions to the growth of FUSA.