In Enugu State today, it has become commonplace to continually come face to face with various indices of the state government’s unique profile of outstanding performance as never experienced in a scale like this in the past decades, the present crippling economic recession notwithstanding. What remains a puzzle for the elated populace, though on a pleasant note, is how Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the chief driver of this good governance in the cash-strapped state garners such an enormous financial muscle to power his landmark performance so far.
This review, a very short peep into Governor Ugwuanyi’s latest exceptional strides in a few sectors, is dedicated to this man of the people, Enugu’s man of the moment, as he marks his 53rd birthday. And the people who are experiencing this different-hue of servant-leadership in Enugu are singing joyful songs, their contributions to make his birthday worth the while.
It is pertinent to point to a few of the latest exceptional steps taken by the governor’s administration in furtherance of its passion to reorder the state’s existing development paradigm for the benefit of “the wretcheds of the earth” in the state. And beginning from the very fresh ones, while recession-hit states are considering downsizing the strength of their workforce, the joy of post-primary school teachers knew no bounds at the weekend, as he approved promotion of 2165 workers in that sector. Yet, in line with the announcement of the State Executive Council after its meeting last week, more thousands of teachers are already billed to get their promotions this year.
Chairman of the State Post-Primary School Board, Barrister Nestor Ezeme, was specific when he revealed that come August this year, all teachers in that education sector whose promotions were due in 2014, more than a year before Ugwuanyi’s administration came on board, would get their promotions. He also informed that those teachers who attended promotion interviews in 2015 would be elevated in December this year to end the year in a resounding note of joy for the teachers and their families. Governor Ugwuanyi in his now perennial craving for doing great things for the people of the state, also approved the recruitment of 2000 primary school teachers, shunning the prevailing temptation to sack workers.
Still in the education sphere, Ugwuanyi’s administration has considerably advanced the frontiers of the synergy in funding primary education in the state, resulting in the construction and rehabilitation of over 340 primary school buildings and other structures. At the moment, over 200 such other facilities in the some primary schools across the state have been earmarked to benefit from this revolution going on in the state primary school system. The tertiary education in the state is also experiencing profound rejuvenation in the magical hands of Gburugburu (the governor’s ground swelling traditional title).
For instance, to give more fillip to and expand the horizon of two tertiary institutions in the state, machineries have been set in motion to move the Enugu State College of Education (Technical) currently located along Abakaliki Road in Enugu metropolis to Ihe, a rural area in Awugu council area of the state. Similarly, moves are underway to reopen a former campus of Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) that was formerly in Nkpologu, Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of the state.
Apart from offering the two institutions the opportunity for more physical ventilation for greater growth, the locale of the expansion destinations would enable the Ugwuanyi administration to key into the implementation of one its focal intentions – rural development. The prospects of realising these two objectives for the two state-owned higher institutions has sparked off celebrations and huge expectations by the residents and indigenes of the benefitting communities.
Yet, a few days ago, the orgy of the milk of human kindness that runs in Governor Ugwuanyi’s elements made him lead the State Executive Council into approving a humanitarian measure aimed at decongesting the three federal prisons in Enugu state. N10m was promptly approved for release to power the novel intervention. The state attorney-general and commissioner for Justice, Chief Miletus Eze, threw more light on the novel palliative that would give a new lease of life to thousands of inmates in the three prisons in Enugu state. “Let me start by saying that the N10 million approved by the state government for prison decongestion is just a palliative in the sense that we have three prisons in Enugu State and beyond that, there are still some prisoners from Enugu State who are in other prisons in Nigeria.
“For example in Kaduna State we have condemned prisoners from Enugu State who are there. So, the approval of N10 million is palliative in the sense that it is just to reduce the pressures on the prisons. The major effect of our present efforts will come from jail deliveries. I want to say that in 2016, we conducted jail deliveries and reduced up to 300 inmates of the prisons in Enugu State: Prisons in Nsukka, Enugu and Oji River,” he stated.
Meanwhile, works are on various stages of completion on the 35 projects flagged off on the same day last December. The result is that communities, especially in Nkanu East, Uzo-Uwani and Awgu local government areas, three areas designated as having experienced underdevelopment most among the 17 local government areas in the state, are currently experiencing lifetime transformations. They, along with other eye witnesses to the revolutionary style of governance brought to bear on Enugu’s political landscape by this Gburugburu whirlwind, cannot hold back their bundle of joy in this pleasant surprise in a period of national economic hardship.
Hence, the people sing and rejoice justifiably even as friends, associates, well-wishers and the entire populace join Governor Ugwuanyi as he marks his 53rd birthday.
Prince Nna Marcel, who is the founder of Ist October Dynamic Friends of Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi wrote: “In many spheres of his growing very eventful stewardship to the people of Enugu State, Governor Ugwuanyi has become a personification of surprise elements. Evidence of his phenomenal exploits in governance abound. And the good people of our dear state, who have yearned for this kind of human-face disposition are now the happier for it.”
– Citizen Chikamso Apeh wrote on his Facebook wall in appreciation of a vital facility the governor has approved for his IgboEze North Local Government Area: “I thank His Excellency, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, for awarding the contract for construction of Nkpamte-Igogoro-Ugbaike Road. We will shame your enemies more. We are proud of you. God is happy with you.”
-Contributing to an edition of a Radio Nigeria Igbo current affairs programme – Kohamalu, an indigene of Ebonyi State, had this to say of the Enugu governor: “I thank Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for his good works for the people of Enugu State. If other state governors should work like him, Nigeria will be a developed nation in no time. I thank him so much and pray God to bless him abundantly.”
-On that same programme, Sunday Nwachukwu had called from Nnewi, Anambra State, saying, “I want to thank God for the kind of governor He has given to us. When I visited my country home, Nkanu, last December, I witnessed aggressive road construction in Amuri. When I travelled from Enugu to Anambra through Oji River-Ugwuoba Road last year, I had a terrible experience, but as it is today, the road has been fixed courtesy of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s administration. I pray God to sustain him on that seat so that he would consolidate on the good works he is doing for our dear Enugu State.”
More and more of these heartfelt testimonies to the emergence of a most God-fearing leader for Enugu state, nay even beyond her spheres, greet Governor Ugwuanyi wherever he appears in the public, when the citizens troop to the Lion Building in groups, when he seats back to receive visitors and when he goes to churches. On this occasion of his 2017 birthday, outpour of good wishes come in the realm of an avalanche.