By Ovat Abeng
Amb. Dr. John Chukwudi Metchie, the President-General of Umueri community in Anambra-East Local Government Area of Anambra State, who also doubles as the Prime Minister of the Anambra State Association of Town Unions (ASATU) has defined stewardship for Nigerian leaders.
This definition of a transparent and accountable stewardship was the Crux of the matter as Metchie presented his scorecard to the people of Umueri; accounting for every penny that was spent from his pockets and those gotten from freewill donations.
Although the trouble with public office in Nigeria hinges on accountability due to the immunity that comes with such position whether as an appointed or elected official, most public office holders wallow in diversions, embezzlement as well as misappropriation of public funds inimical to the general wellbeing of the people.
Accountability in public office could be likened to a Camel trying to force itself through the needle’s eye because it is almost an impossibility to have a culture of transparency, probity and accountability in the Nigerian situation judging from the culture of impunity and corrupt practices that have eaten deep into the fabrics of the public and private sectors of the nation’s economy.
Reports have it that many a person who have been either appointed or elected public officials either absconded or disgraced out of office over their inabilities to render accounts of stewardship to the people who entrusted the offices they occupied in their care.
The internet is equally awash with plethora of stories of how elected and appointed government functionaries siphoned monies meant for infrastructural cum community development purposes while the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Commission (ICPC) have been on their trail and some corrupt public officials have been jailed for lack of accountability while in service.
Johnny Metchie who defied the temptations and attractions of public office as the President-General of Umueri community, decided to display an impeccable character coupled with an uncommon integrity to uphold his pledge upon inception of duty as PG to render quarterly account of his stewardship to the people of Umueri community with visible, concrete projects in tandem with their most pressing needs on ground.
Metchie whose achievements as PG cuts across security, education, infrastructure, healthcare, local economy, rehabilitation of flood victims, conflict resolutions, power supply, to mention a few, noted that the milestones wouldn’t have been possible without supports and teamwork from his Executives in Umueri General Assembly. He told this journalist that the support from his Executives and the people of Umueri have been very massive and encouraging.
In security, Metchie outlined a number of very laudable projects his regime executed to ward off criminal elements and to ensure watertight security in Umueri and her neighbouring communities. He said, ” We set up a state-of-the-art surveillance control room in Anambra-East to track and trail criminal elements.
Recall that I am also the Deputy Commander General (Technical Services) of the Nigerian Hunters and Forest Security Service (NHFSS). So I received an SOS call on 15th December, 2023 that one Mrs. Ugochukwu Chikelue, a mother of four children and an indigene of Umueri was kidnapped.
I immediately mobilised a combined security team comprising operatives of the Nigerian Hunters, officers of the Nigerian Army, the Nigeria Police and other security agents and they swung into action and before long the lady was rescued from her abductors in the bush.
Another great milestone achievement by my regime was the construction of fully equipped Multi-million naira ultramodern joint security post. I singlehandedly built the security post from my personal resources and it was commissioned by Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo on 13th October, 2023. “
Again the United Nations Peace Ambassador revealed that in the realm of conflict resolutions, he waded into the boundary crisis between Nneyi Umueri and Enugwu-Nsugbe. He said he drew the attention of the state government to the crisis and equally expressed great satisfaction in the way and manner the Deputy Governor Dr. Onyekachukwu Ibezim handled the matter.
In infrastructure, Amb. Dr. Johnny Metchie embarked on rural electrification tagged” Light Up Umueri Campaign. ” In this project, emphasis was the less privilege, widows and widowers including those who completely had to access to electricity supply, adding that his government installed the identification signage at Anambra International Cargo and Passenger Airport now Chinua Achebe International Airport Umueri even as he profoundly thanked the government of Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo for the full sponsorship of the new signage at the airport.
Metchie who also thanked Governor Soludo, the Local Government Commissioner Mr. Tony-Collins Nwabunwanne and the Chairman of Anambra-East council area Mr. Anslem Onuorah, for the ongoing construction works on Patrick Metchie Street, said the road has been neglected and abandoned by previous administrations thereby causing havoc for residents in the area.
Again, the maintenance and repair works at Ngene Okwuazu Bridge in Umueri was another monumental achievement of his regime even as he commended the local government chairman Dr. Anslem Onuorah for his timely intervention on the bridge when he was notified of the bad portions of the bridge. Still on infrastructural development, the PG disclosed that Umueri Civic Center was massively renovated and giving a befitting facelift while thanking an Umueri son in the diaspora who donated a whopping N2 million for the renovation and refurbishment of the civic center.
In education, the Johnny Metchie Foundation founded by Amb.Dr. Johnny Metchie has distributed over 300 back to school packs to young students in Umueri community. Moreso, Metchie undertook the payment of WAEC fees for 93 students last year and recently donated the sum of N1 million for the renovation of Government Technical College Umueri, just as he informed too that the founder and pro-chancellor of Greenfield University Kaduna, Engr. Chief Simon Nwakacha is extending full scholarships to Umueri indigenes willing to school in the university.
The PG who commended the Anambra State Government through the Commissioner for Health Dr. Ben Afam Obidike for the renovation of Umueri General Hospital and making it very functional again, also extended heartfelt appreciations to the Commissioner for Power and Water Resources, Mr. Julius Chukwuemeka for improved power supply in the area. He however extended his heartfelt appreciations to his Executives and Umueri community in general, saying that it is time public office holders began to be really accountable to the people who elected or appointed them into office.