As Ebonyi State marks 22 years of statehood, we celebrate Governor Umahi for his outstanding achievements in the various fields of human endeavours.
Ojukwu Innocent Ene
Ebonyi State was created on October 1, 1996, by the late Gen. Sani Abacha. But Ebonyi can only be said to have started living up to its name as a state with the election and assumption of office of Governor David Nweze Umahi on May 29, 2015. Up till the celebrated inauguration of Umahi in May 2015, Ebonyi State was in a depressing and deplorable situation in scope and scale, with all the social and economic development indices of the state going down, with the past political leadership clearly clueless on how to steer the state out of the quagmire.
But as the 2015 election approached, Ebonyians who had witnessed an upsurge in political awareness and participation, a function of their determination to seek and support only persons knowledgeable, driven by passion to lead selflessly, people with integrity, compassion, vision, creativity, exposure, committed to the general good and less inclined to corruption. This new and progressive approach to the selection of leadership by Ebonyians marked a turning point in their chequered history.
Today, Ebonyians, for the first time, are experiencing quality leadership that has translated to the betterment of ordinary people and not a few leadership elite. This has not been so in the state since 1996. Umahi’s pursuit of excellence in every field of human endeavour has ensured that the state has attained scores of enviable milestones, making her one of the fastest growing states in the country.
The deplorable state of every sector, institution and infrastructure in the state, like hospitals, schools, roads, industries, the solid minerals sector, environment, agriculture, etc, were despicable pointers to erstwhile leaders’ insensitivity, carelessness and dysfunctionality in implementing sustainable and people-centric projects in the state.
Often, when Governor Umahi talks, you see a man speaking out of deep pain and concern for a state that is richly endowed with human and material resources but with nothing to show for it over the years, including when she was awash with stupendous petrodollar wealth. Indeed, Umahi is pained that Ebonyi State was left to suffer stunted growth. As a medical term, stunted growth is a function of chronic malnourishment.
Every sector of Ebonyi State was malnourished and needed to be attended to urgently with adequate nourishment. Every sincere observer would agree that, going by all that Umahi has done so far, he is in a hurry to make Ebonyi State catch up with a racing world.
It is incontrovertible that Umahi is in a hurry to develop Ebonyi State. To achieve this, Umahi hit the ground running from the moment he was sworn-in, and very fast too, indicative of a man who has a proper and full grasp of the challenges bedevilling the state, and the solutions. The frenetic speed with which he has transformed the state simply demonstrates that his love for Ebonyi and capacity to deliver on the job is not a subject of debate.
Umahi’s desire to develop Ebonyi State in a hurry is also seen in the unbridled gusto and verve with which he works day and night. Umahi is so busy that files are not left on his table to gather dust, as is the case in many other states as well as part of the ugly past of Ebonyi State. Umahi’s prompt action on mails, quick response to even SMS and round- the-clock supervision of projects across the state demonstrates his commitment to turn Ebonyi State to a modern and model state in the earliest possible time. It is all the above put together that earned him the title of the “Most Hardworking Governor in the Country.”
Through Umahi’s sweeping reforms, he brought to an end recidivism in budgeting, accounting, project implementation and service delivery. He has changed the Ebonyi landscape, turning the state to the hub of everything good. His innovative concrete roads across the state are reference points in road construction, which is fast being adopted by other state governments.
Umahi’s energy and drive for excellence are not only remarkable but also inspiring, thus he has inspired many Ebonyians with his work ethics, strict adherence to noble ideals and record of service to humanity. Even in the midst of trying times occasioned by the worst recession in the country, Governor Umahi, through prudent management, has been able to leave landmark leadership and transformational imprints in every sector and part of the state.
He has continued to sting the conscience of past regimes in the state, with the bitter reality of true leadership anchored on even development and equitable sharing of government projects and appointments. In terms of physical, social services, appointment and inclusiveness, Umahi’s administration is the only one that can say that there is no household that has not benefited from its programmes, policies and responsive leadership.
As Ebonyi State marks 22 years of statehood, we celebrate Governor Umahi for his outstanding and unique achievements in the various fields of human endeavours. We appreciate his courage, intellect, compassion and managerial skills in dire times. We laud his fidelity to the dreams of our founding fathers.
It is for all the above that Ebonyians are clamouring for the return of Gov. Umahi for a second term to build on and consolidate on the foundation of greatness, that he has laid for our dear state.
READ ALSO: 2019: Although I won’t criticise Buhari, it doesn’t stop me from supporting my party – Umahi
• Ene, a media analyst and public commentator, wrote from Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital