In my previous four articles about Mmaku Catholic Centre (MCC), I highlighted with nostalgia, the boom days of MCC and the circumstances that led to its fall. I also made a clarion call for its revival, and my convinction for a persistent call of MCC revival is obviously fuelled by the following benefits which I know that Mmaku people stand to gain if the center is eventually revived:
1. Job Opportunities: Mmaku Catholic Centre is made up of five viable departments: the Agric, Bakery, School, Hospital and the Admin departments. Each of these departments employs a good number of staff to keep it running efficiently. During the good old days of MCC, about 40% of staff in every department were Mmaku indigines. A revived MCC would mean that a good number of Mmaku people would get jobs and earn a living through the Centre.
2. Quality Education: The nursery, primary and secondary schools in MCC didn’t just provide a better alternative to public schools in Mmaku, but offered quality education too. In my previous articles, I talked about how the MCC schools run by Daughters of Divine Love Rev Sisters raised the academic standards of the schools such that parents and even teachers in Mmaku did withdraw their wards/children from public schools and enrolled them in the MCC schools.
The case was the same for other neighbouring communities as the MCC school bus traversed Awgu, Mgbowo, Mgbidi, Obeagu, Achi etc, picking and dropping day students to and fro the school. A revived MCC would no doubt provide not just alternative but quality education to Mmaku sons and daughters and beyond.
3. Good Health Care Services: St Monica’s Memorial Hospital at MCC provided quality health care services to Mmaku people and its environs. With a resident doctor and well equipped medical laboratory, the hospital was competing with other private hospitals in Awgu for quality medical services to the sick ones. Besides, the hospital also trained a good number of Mmaku indigines as nurses some of whom have either furthered their studies in medical field or gone ahead to open their own chemist shop or health centres.
4. Economic Benefits: The economic benefits of MCC to Mmaku people cannot be over emphasized. Take for example the bakery department that was producing ‘Manna Bread’ then and supplying to distributors/retailers within and outside Mmaku. Some people in Mmaku started their small scale businesses by just being retail sellers of Manna Bread and later expanded to full scale provision stores. Even the Agric department that was rearing pigs, poultry and farming, attracted buyers from far and near.
The economic activities in Mmaku Catholic Centre made Mmaku become a kind of commercial hub which benefited even transporters, okada riders, petty traders, even rural farmers and residents in Mmaku.
5. MCC As Catalyst for Mmaku Development: Besides talking about what Mmaku gained during the boom days of MCC, or what it will gain if the Centre is revived; it is also pertinent to take a look at what Mmaku stand to gain in the nearest future if MCC remain functional. And in my opinion, a functional MCC would serve as a catalyst for the rapid development of Mmaku.
With the kind of building structures in MCC, and the facilities in it, MCC could become an annex or a study centre to one of the popular universities or tertiary institutes and this would become a catalyst for a rapid development in Mmaku. Besides if Fr Innocent Udeafor could build a reputable nursery, primary and secondary schools and even hospital, bakery and the likes in Mmaku, who said he can’t also bequeath a higher institution to Mmaku people.
From my previous interview with him, although he is getting older and may soon retire as an active priest, he is ready and willing to invest in MCC and even do more for Mmaku people if only Mmaku people work together to restore and revive MCC no matter what it takes, because according him, ‘seeing MCC in ruins makes his heart bleeds’. The time to revive MCC is now, and posterity will judge every Mmaku indigene, if we fail on this task!
Sylvanus Offorka Obasi is a Lagos based journalist, content creator, social entrepreneur. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org WhatsApp: +2348146289698.
For my previous articles about MCC, visit www.platformreporters.com or DM the WhatsApp Number for the links.