Residents of Afikpo North local government area of Ebonyi state have suggested ways of ending cultism and the total blackout that has engulfed the town in the last ten years.
In an essay competition held Tuesday on the Facebook page of a journalist, Prince Paul Okah, which was sponsored by a London based philanthropist, Mr Felix Clinton Ebuka, to mark his birthday, while contesting for cash prizes, 25 residents wrote expository essays of more than 500 words on the topics: “How to eradicate cultism in Afikpo” and “Solution to lack of power supply in Afikpo”.
In her essay, a lecturer Dr (Mrs) Alum Esther, who won N15,000 cash prize for clinching the first position with her essay on how to eradicate cultism in Afikpo, said that provision of guidance and counselling centre in Afikpo, provision of mentorship platform, creation of recreation centres, skill acquisition, good government policies, good parenting, constant sensitisation and public awareness will go a long way in curbing the menace of cultism in Afikpo.
Similarly, another participant, Mr Chijioke Egwu Ekumaoko, who won N7,000 for clinching the second position with his essay on how to eradicate cultism in Afikpo, said that enactment of punitive laws, proper orientation, inculcation of moral values on children by patents, religious leaders and teachers, and prosecution of cultists and sponsors, especially politicians, will end the menace faster than anything else.
Similarly, another resident, Maazi Okoro Johnny, who won N5,000 for clinching the third position with his essay on solution to power supply in Afikpo, said the only solution for decade-old blackout in the town is for politicians and the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) to be held accountable by residents, even as he said that an electricity substation that has been under construction in Amasiri must be completed within record time and an abandoned power project in Afikpo revived.
The sponsor of the competition, Mr Felix Clinton Ebuka, while hoping that the suggestions of the residents will be adopted and implemented by the Ebonyi State Government to end cultism in the state, and for the EEDC to restore electricity to Afikpo, awarded consolation prizes of N1,000 airtime to 15 participants “as encouragement for participation, though 10 out of 25 participants were disqualified for writing below 500 words”.