Warren Gamaliel Bennis, an American scholar, organizational consultant, and author once noted that “leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.”
In the dying end of 2019 when His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Dr. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi constituted transition committees across the 17 LGAs of Enugu State to steer the ship of the Council areas, for a period of three months, following the expiration of two year-terms of elected Council Chairmen in the State, one thing stood the Governor out.
His love for Enugu youths, his preference to field them to occupy sensitive and highly regarded offices when duty calls, unlike his peers across the Nation who would prefer ‘Government of elders’ to generational change of guards, stands him out as visionary leader.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has shown at every given opportunity that youths remain the power House of every political society, by drafting them to lead the charge and take the centre stage at every stage of political representation in the state.
The Governor’s preference for youths and their dominance when the list of TC chairmen across the state was released was to say the least, a masterstroke; his further enlisting of the same army of energetic, brilliant, creative and innovative group to become substantive chairmen after the transition was again, exemplary.
However, in the Executive arm of Government of the state, the youths who comfortably enjoy the paraphernalia and aura of oval offices such as SPAs, SSAs, SAs and TAs to His Excellency, to the admiration of other states across the federation are without doubts, defining in their various services.
“The best leader is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and the self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” -Theodore Roosevelt once said. That is for the Governor anyway.
And then, turning to Hon. Ikenna Nwodo, Son of His Excellency Chief Okwesilieze Nwodo, former Governor of old Enugu State, and one of the brightest shining lights among the youths in the state, who superintended over the affairs of Igbo-Etiti local government area during the TC era, you wowed a good number of us in the state.
In three months as TC Chairman, Ikenna successfully renovated the Local Government (LG) Headquarters buildings such as – the administrative blocks, all offices, the traditional rulers hall, while upgrading the furniture & IT infrastructure in the aforementioned buildings to modern day standard.
In three months, the entire road network of the LG HQ was graded and asphalted to a high standard and state of the art solar street lights installed.
His other achievements in road infrastructure during his stint as TC chairman included restoration and maintenance of roads in all 20 wards of the LG.
In education, the young Mayor renovated Udueme Primary School in Igbo- Etiti West, as the main school block was given a brand new roof, whilst doors and windows were upgraded.
In other to ensure regular water supply in the council headquarters, Hon. Ikenna championed the quest that culminated in the restoration of a water pumping station. This involved the repair and upgrade of the existing pumping machines, power generating sets.
His youth empowerment project involved Providing over 160 youths with financial development grants.
Meanwhile, in the power sector, he refurbished and re-energized various power transformers in collaboration with the rural electrification board and EEDC. While in the media, the young Nwodo established official new media communication platforms (website, blogs, twitter, Instagram etc) to boost public / citizen engagement.
Then, coming to health, In collaboration with federal and state primary health care agencies, he attracted and equipped health centers with sustainable medical equipment as well as flagged off and supported various immunization campaigns.
In sports, Ikenna hosted and supported the yuletide sports jamboree; while in election, he Oversaw a peaceful and successful local government election.
Giving the time frame of three months which was given to TC chairmen across Enugu state, to steer the affairs of their various LGAs, pending the coming of the now, elected officials, Ikenna can only be applauded and cheered as the best example of sound and healthy leadership.
Thank you, Ikenna. The future of our youths in Enugu state is now, brighter.
Gwiyi Solomon is a public affairs analyst. He wrote from Nsukka.