By Odogwu Emeka Odogwu
The Bishop of Diocese of Mbamili, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Anambra State, Rt. Rev. Henry Okeke, literally wept when he lamented the lack of Federal and State Governments’ presence in the entire Anambra West Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Bishop Okeke who is also the Deputy General Secretary, Global African Future Conference, GAFCON, West African Region, challenged politicians who, he said, thought they had given democracy dividends to the grassroots, to visit Anam Community and other communities in Anambra West Local Government Area.
His words: ‘There is no single Federal Government presence in the whole of Anambra West Council Area; there is no company, factory, or higher institution in the area, and we therefore urge the Federal and Anambra State Governments to bring at least one institution of higher learning in the area to help its development.
Speaking with newsmen in the Bishops Court, Umukwu, Anam, Bishop Okeke, who is the pioneer Bishop of Mbamili Diocese inaugurated on June 9, 2008, said, ‘leaving Abuja to become the Bishop of the Diocese opened our eyes to the realities of the sufferings of the rural dwellers and until the rural dwellers begin to access all the dividends of democracy politicians talk about, no politician should boast of giving the people democracy dividends.
‘If the rural communities are not affected in the delivery of democracy dividends, it is like scratching the surface to say that any politician, from the President to the Local Government Chairman, has performed in the delivery of dividends of democracy to the people.
‘We left Abuja to Anam in Anambra West Local Government to discover with shock that there is a community as backwardly developed as Anam and other communities in Anambra West Council Area.
‘The shocking thing is that they are communities in Anambra State. However, the experience is so interesting because it gave us room to see that, sometimes, the way we look at communities from outside is not the way they are in terms of development.’