By Louis Amoke
In what could be described as a revalidation of their earlier endorsement of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State for a second term in office, the state’s workers and youths had while felicitating with the governor on Nigeria’s 58th Independence Anniversary, reiterated their firm support for his re-election, declaring that they were solidly behind him.
The enthusiastic workers and youths, who spoke separately through the state chairmen of Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) and National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Comrade Igbokwe Chukwuma Igbokwe and Comrade Paschal Ugwu, respectively, said the decision was based on their conviction that the governor has continued to entrench good governance, cater to their welfare and promote peaceful co-existence and national unity among residents of the state and beyond.
They described Gov. Ugwuanyi as a God-fearing, peace-loving, visionary, hardworking, unassuming, pragmatic and high-performing leader, whose style of governance is uncommon and remarkable in the annals of the state.
While labour applauded the governor’s giant developmental strides and his prompt payment of salaries on the 23rd of every month, “whether it falls on a Saturday or Sunday”, the youth stated that “our youth-friendly governor has actually delivered on his promises to the youth in particular and the people of the state in general”.
Reaffirming their valid trust in Gov. Ugwuanyi, the future leaders largely made up of students, reiterated that “with our 60% voting strength of the youth out of the number of eligible voters in Enugu State, we firmly re-assure you that your re-election is 100% guaranteed by God’s grace”.
They added that “youths in Enugu State are celebrating good governance and the peaceful atmosphere in the state, made possible through His Excellency’s sound vision and humble disposition”.
On the part of the workers, they maintained that Ugwuanyi “is a governor who has made workers’ welfare his first priority”, disclosing that “he paid June and July salaries even when FAAC did not sit for two months”, which they noted “is not obtainable anywhere”.
According to them, “we are supporting his second term bid, and every other endeavor beyond his 2nd term, we will always stand by him. We have never had it so good before. For the first time we are having a governor who has a listening ear. He has compassion for workers and carries labour along in taking decisions that affect them.
“So, we are delighted to say that in the three and half years of Ugwuanyi’s administration, the labour has fared very, very well in Enugu State. The workers are happy”.
It is therefore, noteworthy that the reassurance from the workers and youths, which came on the eve of the colourful and hitch-free governorship primary election of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Enugu State, was a morale booster to Gov. Ugwuanyi, whose emergence as the party’s flag bearer made history, being the first governor of the state to contest in the gubernatorial primary election of a political party as a sole aspirant.
The outcome of the primary election was a revalidation of the earlier endorsements by every organ of the party in the state, which consequently culminated in the gale of endorsements from virtually all spheres of the society, including leaders of religious and traditional institutions as well as opposition political parties.
The overwhelming support accorded the governor by his party men and women during the primaries, was also a confirmation of the confidence they repose in him as a great achiever who has made peace, good governance and participatory democracy the hallmark of his administration.
One remarkable aspect of the just concluded PDP primaries in Enugu State is that this was the first time the people (party members) were allowed to elect those who will fly the party’s flags in all the elective positions at the general election. Kudos must therefore go to Gov. Ugwuanyi for deepening the tentacles of internal democracy in the party.
Prior to the said primary election, the ward chairmen of the PDP from Enugu West Senatorial Zone, during their solidarity visit to the governor at the Government House to reaffirm their support for his re-election, applauded him for entrenching participatory democracy in the state. They said that the governor’s leadership style has rejuvenated the party’s organs at the grassroots, according them their rightful place in the scheme of things as “proud ward leaders”.
They therefore aligned themselves with the eight years rotational agreement among the three senatorial districts of the state for the office of the governor, stressing that all hands must be on deck to ensure that the governor completes the remaining four-year tenure of the Enugu North Senatorial Zone for the position to rotate to the next zone.
Addressing delegates at the primaries, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, expressed delight that it was the first time in the past 21 years of his active participation in politics, that the PDP would be having a sole aspirant as well as a non-contentious governorship primary election.
He therefore commended Gov. Ugwuanyi for holding the forte for the party and state, saying: “Today we have not only a governor who has performed very well, he has also entrenched peace in Enugu State”.
Declaring Gov. Ugwuanyi as the party’s governorship candidate after polling 2,782 valid votes out of total votes cast of 2,859, by the delegates, the Chairman of the 5-man State Electoral Committee that conducted the primaries, Senator Ambuno Zik, commended the peaceful atmosphere in the state, describing the governor as “a humble, indefatigable and amiable” leader, who is so much loved by his people.
His words: “I have to say from my heart that this great man is humble, this great man is indefatigable, and this great man is amiable. Talking about humility, honestly he is somebody who is humble and if you meet him, you meet humility. He has the fear of God and let him continue in that path.
“Talking about being indefatigable, this man is an achiever. I never knew he was a silent achiever until I came to Enugu. They say action speaks louder than voice. He is developing every part of the state and that is why I said he is indefatigable.
“Talking about being amiable, this very man is a magnet when you come near him. He is like a magnet attracting people and you cannot help but like him. That is why I say he is amiable. You have a great governor. From what I saw, I have no doubt in my mind that he is going to achieve more in his next 4 years. His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Gburugburu) your people like you”.
From the foregoing, it is an indisputable fact that Gov. Ugwuanyi is the most cherished and celebrated governor of Enugu State. He has maintained a close relationship with the people, both the lowly and the highly placed, ensuring that they are constantly rewarded with good governance as the true heroes of democracy.
This milestone ideology is in keeping with his vision to “deploy government services to create fair and equal opportunity for every willing citizen to make a living and create wealth, educate our children, and enjoy life in a peaceful and secure environment”.
It is also targeted at alleviating the suffering of the masses, especially in the rural areas, where the majority of the people live, to ensure that long neglected communities are remembered accordingly.
Consequently, Gov. Ugwuanyi despite the nation’s economic challenges and the state’s lean resources, has left his footprints in the sands of hitherto neglected communities, such as Amurri, Ngenevu, Iva Valley, Ogbaku, Eha Amufu, Abakpa Nike, Emene, Nsukka, and Ngwo (Milliken Hill), among others, to the amazement of the dwellers, through his administration’s time-honoured grassroots development interventions.
His numerous landmark achievements and sterling performance across the three senatorial districts depict his strength of leadership and rewarding experience towards improving the living standard of the people, in line with his social contract with them.
On economic indices, the governor has taken innovative and far reaching measures that have strategically engendered sustainable growth in the state’s resources for continuous provision of the development needs of the people, in a prudent and transparent manner.
As a pacesetter, his administration’s initiation of a monthly, cherished N50,000 empowerment scheme for genuine traders in the state irrespective of state of origin, religion or ethnicity, won through open lottery across the 54 designated markets, has profusely brought great fortunes to their various businesses – a feat which other governments in the country have continued to emulate.
The peoples’ governor also deserves commendations for the ‘one community one project’ programme , which earmarked N10 million each for the 458 autonomous communities in the state to enable them execute priority projects of their choice, among other sundry interventions aimed at empowering the people, especially the women, youths and the underprivileged, to improve their living standard.
A few days ago, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, while in Enugu for the state’s edition of the National Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Clinic, commended Gov. Ugwuanyi for his administration’s unceasing cooperation with the federal government in the advancement of the set objectives of the empowerment programme in the state and beyond.
Prof Osinbajo, who said he was “extremely delighted” with the “kindness and warm reception” the state government has always accorded him whenever he visited Enugu State, also applauded the governor for “the very great steps” his administration has taken in the growth and development of the MSME programme.
The Vice President added that Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration “is doing very well for the MSME” and in advancing the interest of small entrepreneurs, stressing that “the governor deserves a warm applause for the great works he has been doing”.
The above narrative – the tip of the iceberg of Gov. Ugwunayi’s remarkable achievements – gave rise to the wide range of endorsements for the governor’s re-election as well as the peoples’ valid trust in him to continue to lead the state to greatness beyond 2019.
It is therefore expected of the people of Enugu State to continue to encourage and support the visionary leadership in the state for them to enjoy more democracy dividends in a peaceful and secure atmosphere as “the true heroes of democracy”
Enugu State is truly in the hands of God!
Amoke writes from Enugu State.