By Joshua Chibuzo Andrew, Owerri
A very cold war has escalated between Minister of State (Education), Goodluck Opiah and member representing Ohaji/Egbema/Oguta/Oru West Federal Constituency, Uju Kingsley over who takes credit for the Abaezi Egbema campus of Federal Polytechnic Nekede.
The campus was commissioned on Thursday, April 27, 2023 amid fanfare.
Camps of both politicians have been at daggers-drawn, each claiming that its principal should be garlanded for attracting the campus.
Media aide to Opiah, Kelechi Mejuobi in an essay gave credit only to the Minister while the spokesman of Uju, KC Precious said his principal should rather be given the trophy.
Mejuobi also reeled out other projects which the minister has attracted in the area to enhance the lives of the people.
He listed such projects to include the establishment of Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (ISOPADEC), conversion of Michael Okpara College of Agriculture and Technology, Umuagwo from a monotechnic to a polytechnic and construction of Egbema Power Plant.
Others were reconstruction of roads, building of Ministry of Niger Delta Housing Estate at Umuagwo and the Skills Acquisition Centre at Abaezi Egbema.
Mejuobi claimed that Opiah deployed his contacts at the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to see to it that the Skills Acquisition Centre, Abezi-Egbema was handed over to the Ministry of Education as a campus of the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, Owerri.
on the other hand, Uju’s publicist, K C Precious regretted that even people who should know better are giving credit to the junior minister for attracting the campus to Egbema rather than to the federal lawmaker.
Precious claimed that in 2021, the polytechnic had approached Uju for support to establish a campus of the institution.
He disclosed that Uju suggested the use of the Abaezi Skills Acquisition Centre as a campus of the polytechnic, a suggestion which the management of the institution accepted.
According to Precious, Uju thereafter went to work, linked up with the then Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio who approved it.
The publicist added that Uju further contacted the then Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba who also expeditiously gave his consent.
Precious also disclosed that the lawmaker worked hard for the inclusion of the project in the national budget leading the project becoming a reality.
The publicist agreed that Opiah might have continued from where Nwajiuba stopped but insisted that Uju should be given the honour due him as the man who attracted the campus.
Precious said; “Yes, our big brother, Hon Minister for State Education Rt Hon Goodluck Opiah must have continued where former Minister for State Education, Hon Nwajiuba stopped on the subject matter no doubt, but credit must be give to the man that facilitated the project which is no other but Hon Uju Kingsley Chima”.
He informed that Abaezi Skill Acquisition Centre, Ohaji-Egbema will also house the Institute of Gas Technology being sponsored by Uju.