Ugwuanyi And Governance in Enugu State
EVEN before his emergence as the governor of Enugu State, Mr. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has shown leadership and successes in his various fields of endeavour including in the House of Representatives, where he was a member for 12 years. Humble and accessible, Ugwuanyi popularly known as Gburugburu because of his popularity, has shown clear understanding and grasp of democratic governance and demands of leadership. His choice as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate by the state party stakeholders ahead of the party primaries received overwhelming support and endorsements.
Against powerful interests who tried to scuttle his ambition, majority of the people and God made it possible. Not because of his wealth or power, but his track record which speaks volume of his person. His victory in the poll was never a surprise, considering that all indices ahead of the poll were in his favour.
On assumption of office, many expected Ugwuanyi to open up political fight with his predecessor, Mr. Sullivan chime, and his co-aspirant, Senator Ayogu Eze But being mindful of the fact that God gives power, such political witch-hunt or vendetta is not in Ugwuanyi’s character. During his electioneering campaign, he neither engaged anybody in war of words nor cast aspersion against any.
For months he has been on saddle, Ugwuanyi has succeeded in carrying almost everybody in the state along, irrespective of the party affiliations. He has provided lifeline to many political actors in the state at a time that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is no longer in control of power at the centre. His government policies and decisions have been altruistic and human. His open door policy of governance has taken government to the people at the grassroots. In Enugu today, residents and people do not only see their governor on television or read government policies on newspapers, they were being consulted and dialogued before government policies and programmes are pronounced.
On daily basis, except weekends, Ugwuanyi attends to urgent issues, receives visitors in his office up till 2am. It was a promise he made in his inaugural speech and he is living by it.
In the areas of human empowerment, workers’ welfare and infrastructural developments, Ugwuanyi’s government has made remarkable strides, despite the consistent dwindling economic situation in the country. Before awarding any contract or carrying out any policy, he took time out to visit the nooks and crannies of the state to understudy the true situation of infrastructural challenges and other problems. To achieve equitable distribution of dividends of democracy throughout the zones in the state, the governor constituted a committee on Enugu State Urban Renewal with Chris Offor as its chairman. Then the state government awarded contract for the construction of several roads across the state.
Roads that are currently undergoing construction include the ever busy dilapidated Ninth mile Corner Ngwo road, Abakpa Nike and Nike Lake Roads, Opi-Nsukka dual carriage way, Amankwo-Ameke-Amah brewing junction, ninth Mile by-pass, Ohom Oba junction-Imilike Ani-Ezimo Agu-Imilike-Ogbodu Aba-Obollo Etiti-Amalla-Obollo-Afor — Udenu Ring Roads.
Unlike in the past, the road contracts were awarded to reputable companies.
Before awarding the road contracts, Governor Ugwuanyi has commissioned 15km Inter-Town- Connection (ITC) 2.5MVA Injection Sub-Station at Ezi-Nze in Udi Local Government Area that will provide electricity to communities across Udi, Uzo-Uwani and Igbo-Etiti Local Government Areas of the state. His government has also procured vehicles for security agencies; completed the impassable Ogbete Main Market entrance road project, continued the rehabilitation work at Airport Roundabout/Orie Emene/St. Patrick’s College/Eke-Obinagu road project.
The governor has laid foundation stone for a 200-bed Ultra Modern Specialist Hospital at Amalla, Orba in Udenu Local Government Area; site and services of Trinity Housing Estate by Enugu State Housing Development Corporation (ENHDC), located along old Airport Road, Enugu.
On assumption of office, Governor Ugwuanyi cleared backlog of salaries and arrears owed workers. Since then his government has ensured that workers’ welfare are taken care promptly. He has consistently engaged them in dialogue as partners in progress. That was why when some demystified politicians in the state recently tried to pitch the workers against his government through misrepresentation of facts, the workers quickly resisted the plot to disappointment of those behind it.
Ugwuanyi’s leadership style is an indication that there are better days ahead for the people of the state. It is also a true manifestation of Ugwuanyi’s readiness to provide good leadership and governance, virtues that seem to be scarce in the country, especially at this critical point of the country’s economic challenges. It takes more than prudence in leadership. But for Ugwuanyi, prudence is part and parcel of his life.
• Alamu, an undergraduate wrote from Agbani road, Enugu.
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