Media professionals under the aegis of Nsukka Journalists Forum (NJF), has called on the Enugu State government to ensure the immediate establishment of a full-fledged state university to be known as University of Adada in Nsukka to help tackle the developmental challenges of the zone.
The group, made up of indigenous journalists from the zone, also demanded that a campus of the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) be sited in Nsukka in conformity with the original plan for a multi-campus university as well as emphasised the imperative of relocating the Enugu State School of Agriculture to Uzo Uwani, since the School of Agriculture, Iwolo, has been upgraded to a polytechnic.
This was contained in a communique issued and signed by the chairman of the forum, Prof Nick Idoko, after the group’s inaugural one-day summit at the Jerry Mariot Hotel, Nsukka, to consider issues of importance and proffer solutions to challenges facing the zone.
The meeting, the first of its kind in the history of the zone, assessed challenges in infrastructure, education, environment, potable water, sanitation, healthcare, agriculture, industrialisation, information, communication and technology, media and public communication and adopted modalities towards addressing the concerns.
NJF decried the infrastructural decay, poor road network, high level of unemployment of the abundant human resources, and the grinding poverty that pervades the zone.
“We note with concern that the Nsukka cultural zone is still in the doldrums of structural and organic marginalisation and call on all relevant stakeholders to close ranks and unfold strategic action plans aimed at conscientising and mobilising the people to take their destinies in their own hands,” the communique reads.
The group expressed readiness to partner with the Federal Government, Enugu State government and other relevant international development agencies toward the overall development of the zone.
“Nsukka cultural zone is one phenomenally powerful food basket of the nation and even in West Africa and Africa, and we emphasise the need for collaboration with the federal and state governments for the revival of ADARICE at Uzo-Uwani area of Nsukka.
“We would speak truth to power at all times and would through persuasive counsel show the way forward. We will take the lead in the convocation of a formidable Umunkanka Town Hall Conclave, where NJF would engage political leaders, leaders of thought, traditional rulers, the intelligentsia, and other private/ public sector chieftains, including Nsukka personalities in the Diaspora, on issues of culture, patriotism, accountability, performance, youth empowerment, and proffer wise advice on several developmental matters for optimal outcomes.
“We express readiness to partner with international development agencies, foreign institutions, and donor organisations for capacity building, training and development projects toward the overall development of the Nsukka cultural zone. We emphasise the need to adopt relevant information communication technologies to drive processes towards innovative development in the zone,” the communique further read.