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Fire Razes Ekweremadu’s Multi Billion Naira Youth Development Centre


By Ignatius Okpara, Enugu

BALTIMORE, MD (AFRICAN EXAMINER) –  A multi-billion naira National Youth Development Centre attracted by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and located at Ngwo in Udi council Area of Enugu State has been razed down by mysterious fire.

The centre is one of the five, sited in the five different local government areas of Enugu West senatorial district which Ekweremadu represents.

An eye witness accounts had it that the inferno suspected to have been ignited by unknown arsonists who broke into the facility at Isiokpoto Ngwo by digging a hole through the fence, razed down the two buildings and partially touched the third one.

The disaster, according to security men working in the facility started in the early hours of Tuesday by suspected hoodlums as a distraction while they carted away water pumps attached to water facilities within the centre.

There were more than seven buildings within the sprawling complex, which is a skill acquisition centre for youths of the local government in areas.

Reacting, the Special Assistant to Ikweremadu on Constituency Matters, Nick Ozonsi said, “About two hours ago or close to three hours, somebody called; they started calling some of us who actually work with the Deputy Senate President”.

After, Ozonsi indicated he another aide stated they immediately rushed to scene and immediately called on fire service to put out the fire.

“On careful surveillance we noticed that the fence was broken by vandals and we are suspecting that it was through this point that this fire was actually lit and we suspect also that this is an act of sabotage.”

Special Adviser (Legal) to Ekweremadu, Barr Chinenye Orji stated; “the security men told me that they heard some noise up here.

“On approaching, we saw fire on the other end, which means the main attraction of the people that caused this mayhem was to carry away the water pumping machine here” Orji told newsmen at the scene.

“As you can see they broke up the valves and the supply line, in order to distract the security men, I think they put that fire up the other side.

“Then the security men seeing the fire went for the fire to go and see if they could put it off.

“Within that shot time they (criminals) now made away with the machine through the hole that you have seen.”

Corroborating the suspicion of sabotage, other members of the community including; the Traditional ruler of Ubuoji Ngwo, one of the host communities, Igwe Patrick Ugwuozor; the community head of Okwojo, another host community, Chief Daniel Ugwu (Item Okwojo); and the head of three-man security personnel at the facility, Mr. Thomas Ugwu, all expressed shock at the dastardly act.

They however, pledged to assist the police and other relevant agencies to investigate and fish out perpetrators of the crime.

Similar centres are located in Awgu, Oji-River, Aninri and Ezeagu local government areas of the state and were built under the auspices of Federal Ministry of Youth Development. They have  been completed and are awaiting commissioning.


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