Tue. Apr 16th, 2024
The midas touch of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State

A Grassroots Revolution that Bewilders the People and Staggers Their Imagination ‘For unto us a child is born, Unto us a son is given, And the government shall be on his shoulders And his name shall be called Governor, loving Father, the Provider of Peace.’ Is a paraphrase of […]

A Grassroots Revolution that Bewilders the People and Staggers Their Imagination

‘For unto us a child is born,

Unto us a son is given,

And the government shall be on his shoulders

And his name shall be called

Governor, loving Father, the Provider of Peace.’

Is a paraphrase of a popular Scripture announcing the coming of the righteous reign of a new king and aptly fits Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State as he marks his 54th birthday today. When the righteous is in power, the people rejoice.

Today we roll out the drums to declare a new Genesis in Enugu State. As Alexander Pope declared for the Enlightenment:

Nature and nature’s laws lay hidden in night

God said, ‘Let Newton be,’ and all was light.

By the same token, God said, ‘Let Ifeanyi be’ and all was peace and progress.

As Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi celebrates his birthday today, we have every cause to celebrate the rebirth of our state and the radiance or our governor and king.

The Rt Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi was sworn in as the Governor of Enugu State at the most inauspicious time in the history of the state that called for a tectonic shift of paradigm in the politics and governance of the State. He rose to the challenge and took to governance like fish to water.

Although Enugu has been the seat of the governments of the old Eastern Region, the former East Central State and later Anambra State and had seen the likes of the Great Zik, the compassionate Dr Ibiam and the savvy Dr M I Okpara, none has taken spirituality to government like Governor Ugwuanyi.

In every of his meeting, be it exco, legislative or town hall, Governor Ugwuanyi would always open the meeting on a note of immense gratitude to God in the following words: ‘We cannot thank enough the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob and the awesome God of David.’

The statement of dedication, ‘Enugu State is in the hands of God’ not only adorns big billboards but is the favourite sticker one finds on taxis, tricycles and motorcycles all over the state.

Here is a governor who understands the principle of ‘mind over matter’ and believes that it is the spiritual that controls the physical.

In the realm of security, Governor Ugwuanyi stands tall and looms high and large like a colossus. The principle of law which underscores the duty of the government is that the ‘security of the people is the supreme law.’ This is a governor who has taken any attack anywhere in the state as an attack on him personally. When Nimbo was attacked by suspected herdsmen, the Governor was quick to grasp the bigger picture that the solution did not lie with churning out new laws by the state legislature but in dealing with the root and remote causes.

In education, Enugu State is often the first destination of choice of Nigerian students who come to study at the University of Nigeria or at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology and the government of Governor Ugwuanyi works hard to ensure that conditions that facilitate learning are at optimum in the state. The Enugu State University of Science and Technology prides itself as a place where science and technology speak. It looks up to other great technological institutions like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the USA and the Imperial College, London, UK. It is in the forefront of tackling the challenges of underdevelopment in 21st century Nigeria and Africa in all spheres including human security, food safety and health.

How that Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, a non-oil producing state, manages not only to pay primary and secondary teachers but is actively recruiting new ones staggers the imagination. All teachers in Enugu State got their 13th month salaries paid to them in December 2017 to help them celebrate the Christmas with their families and kick-start the new year on a debt-free note.

There has been a quantum leap in internally generated revenue in Enugu State and the surge continues.

Governor Ugwuanyi has demonstrated the words of Armatya Sen, the Indian economist and UN Rapporteur of Development that ‘development’ is a process. The administration of Governor Ugwuanyi leaves no stone unturned in the development of the human capital which is the real index for measuring development. The civil servants in Enugu State no longer go to work with school knowledge gained over twenty years ago, nor do teachers dust old notes dictated to them by their professors, workers are in all sectors in Enugu State are trained and retrained yearly from the Head of Service and the Secretary to the State Government down to the clerks in the offices for quality and effective service delivery.

Enugu was not made the capital of the Eastern Region because of the deposit of coal in the soil, it has a natural drainage system as it sits on green hills, yet the government of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is actively promoting tourism and attracting visitors to the state by making Enugu one of the safest and cleanest capital cities in Nigeria. In so doing, operational vehicles have been donated to the Nigeria Police Force and the Enugu State Environmental and Waste Management Agency is equipped with the latest waste disposal vehicles and technology to carry out its duty.

Still on promoting commerce, industry and tourism, the Governor very robustly supports the Enugu International Trade Fair to boost agriculture and industry in the state and the entire south east.

Governor Ugwuanyi is grassroots-oriented and ardently promotes local governments and rural development. Enugu State has seventeen functional local government areas, each being a centre and catalyst of rural development.

The towns of Awgu and Amagunze are on the spotlight for aggressive economic development as the Governor has wiped out the tears of those who hitherto never fixed weddings and burials or funerals in the rainy season. The Enugu State College of Education (Technical) has been relocated to Awgu. Amagunze is experiencing the construction of modern roads that were once considered as waterloos.

The substratum that runs through the economic miracle we are witnessing in Enugu State is an unwavering promotion of law and order by Governor Ugwuanyi. The Enugu State Reform of the Criminal Justice Act has been signed into law by the governor. Even the returnees from Libya who are from Enugu state have been retrained and resettled so as to leave no one destitute in Enugu State.

Today there is an Enugu State Council on the Ease of Doing Business thereby keying into the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (EBEC).

Again, in Enugu land charges are harmonized and published online.

Last year Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi distributed five million naira to every community to support their development projects ranging from rural electrification to water boreholes. Also over five hundred primary and secondary schools were either newly built or renovated.

As a true democrat Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi conducted credible local government elections in Enugu State in 2017. The Ugwuanyi essence is in his humility, pastoral disposition and an uncanny ability to reach out to the opposition. In fact, in Enugu State today, there is no credible and formidable opposition as all the other political parties with their potentates, deputies and representatives have collapsed into the Gburugburu victory train.

In the words of the old Negro Spiritual song, ‘thank God, thank God, thank God at last’ that we have the Rt Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as the Governor or Enugu State. We pledge our maximum support and loyalty so that righteousness would festoon like hedges around our State and prosperity like springs and fountains of fresh water across our land.

Happy birthday Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the avatar that has given all of us a new birth.

Ancient Greece gave us the philosophers; ancient Israel, the prophets; China, the sage; India, the mystic; Orba, Nsukka, a unique leader, a governor.

The Pen League.

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