President General, Agbani Community Union in Lagos, Mr. Udo

Mary Ekah

The Agbani Community Union in Lagos is presently navigating a new and progressive direction with its new crop of leadership headed by the Union’s President General, Udo Chuma Chukwu.

Agbani, located in Nkanu West Local Government area of Enugu State, Nigeria, is said to be home to the diverse Eke Market and several institutions of learning such as the Nigerian Law School, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Renaissance University, Mea Metea School, Airforce School. Agbani is seen as a student town because of the presence of students all year round.

In a chat with THISDAY, the Union President, Chukwu, revealed that Agbani is one of the oldest towns in Nkanu and it is more or a less a homogeneous state in the Eastern part of Nigeria.

According to him, “Agbani has from 1910 up till today been the headquarters and commercial nerve centre of Nkanu North senatorial district. And in Enugu today, we have three major senatorial zones – Enugu North, Enugu West and Nkanu. And Agbani can be described as a university town in that we have a cluster of universities in the town and also a cluster of so many secondary schools and other higher institutions.

“What actually is making news today is the fact that in the last 35 years, Agbani people in Lagos have been living without having a definite crop of leaders to steer its progress in Lagos and home. But recently, things took a different dimension with the election into office of new leaders to take the Agbani Community Union in Lagos to an enviable level.”

Chukwu, who described himself as the millennium president of the Lagos Union, added: “In the last 35 years, we have not had elections in Lagos. And then just about three months ago we held an election during which, by the grace of God, my people unanimously elected me their president and then also our Chairman emeritus, Chief Tony Njoku, handed over leadership to my team.”

He said further that “prior to this time and within the last 35 years, Chief Njoku held on as president, combining the Lagos branch and also as the National President. Along the line, there were periods of infighting amongst the union for over 16 years but graciously, the union came together and decided to hold an election and I contested against other erudite sons of Agbani and emerged the winner.”

On how he plans to close the lapses that must have existed in the union for the last 35 years that had apparently witnessed a sort of anarchy amongst members, he said, “I can tell you that we got prepared coming into governance of Agbani and we have looked at Agbani from socio-economy and political points of view and we said within ourselves that it is incumbent on us to address the areas I have just mentioned. And we hope that God enabling us, we would impact on the economic, social and political spheres of Agbani community.”

Chukwu, a graduate of History and International Studies, a community leader and a general consultant, said further that the union intends not only to empower the Agbani people but to also create an enabling entrepreneurship skills acquisition scheme, drawing from the rich repertoire of knowledge inherent in Agbani to boost our economy, adding, “If a man is hungry, he is angry but if you create an enabling atmosphere where the man is able to feed himself, then automatically every other thing falls into place.”

The newly elected President, who said his intention is essentially to bring peace and harmony, which is uppermost, to the union and entire people of Agbani, noted, “I’m a very deep thinker, a man who believes in God and we have outlined some of the things that we are going to do to bring unprecedented progress to the union and we are believing God that by the time the year runs out, a revival would hold here in Lagos and equally in Agbani. And very soon we are going to induct patrons and members of the various committees to handle all our plans and strategies that will bring lasting progress to the union.”