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By NBF News
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Since its creation 16 years ago, Udenu Local Government area in Enugu State has suffered inexplicable set-backs. With the exception of Obollo-Afor, the headquarters of the council, and a border town to Benue State, none of the remaining 26 autonomous communities in the LG felt the impact of government in the past 14 years.

The council area manifested vice in all ramifications. The youth reveled in alcoholism, armed robbery, rape, drug addiction and cultism. These anti-social behaviours reached a crescendo in the last two years preceding the assumption of office of the incumbent chairman, Dr. Ejike Godwin Abonyi.

The chairman had to seek spiritual solution through the Catholic Church to reverse the intractable drift of the local government toward self-annihilation and inertia. The council headquarters located far away from the Obollo-Afor main town and detached from any near built-up areas has been described as a glorified refugee camp, existing only as an insignia of a constitutional entity.

Members of staff of the council visit the office once a month and only to pick their salaries. It could be asserted without fear of exaggeration that Abonyi inherited a morally, financially, socially and infrastructurally moribund and bankrupt council.

The task was daunting and challenging for Abonyi, making him to run to the Catholic Church for protection. In 2010, while his colleagues were dining and wining to usher in their administrations, Abonyi organized a dedication ceremony.

He invited Catholic clergies to exorcise the headquarters. After the celebration of mass, the priests prayed for Abonyi and his councilors and indeed the entire work force. There is no doubt that Abonyi's experiment yielded dividends as evident in the achievements recorded by his administration within two years.

The most prominent of the dividends was the breaking of the jinx that made it impossible for any council chief executive to be re-elected for a second term and the jinx that had stunted the growth and development of the area. Besides being re-elected for a second tenure, Abonyi was also the first Udenu council boss to be retuned unopposed.

He spoke Dail;y Sun: When I came into office two years ago, the council was to say the least, bankrupt and moribund, morally, socially, financially and infrastructurally. The state of decadence was manifest everywhere in the land. Youth's addiction to alcohol and drug was rampant. Crimes like armed robbery, rape, and cultism thrived unhindered. I also discovered to my chagrin that none of my predecessors could point at any single achievement 14 years of the LGA's existence.

The local government headquarters looked like an abandoned refugee camp. Nobody could sleep with both eyes closed in any of the 27 autonomous communities. After a sober reflection, I decided to tackle the satanic forces which I felt were responsible for the stillbirth syndrome of the LGA.

As a Christian, I ran to the church for solution. That was why we had to dedicate my administration to God in 2011. Today, by the special grace of God and, of course, with the support of our people, we can say it loud, thanks be to God. Udenu is gradually taking her rightful place in Nigeria. All these I say, God you are awesome and abundantly able. To our people, I say, let us do it better again.

Our rededication of the council today is both a testimony of what God has done for us and our implicit confidence in his ability to deal with forces of darkness. I want to assure our people that the mandate given to us will not be abused. We will use it on their behalf. It will indeed be used to do good and nothing but that.