Raphael Ede, Enugu
An elder statesman, Chief Maximus Okuta, has thrown his weight behind the reelection bid of Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, saying he has shown extraordinary humility and care for the people.
Chief Okuta, who spoke yesterday, in an interview with newsmen, said Ugwuanyi’s reelection is a done deal, as there would be no contest between him and other candidates for the Lion Building, in May 29.
He said he is supporting him (Ugwuanyi) because he has shown sincerity of purpose and has handled the office of the governor with humility and respect for the people.
“He is respectful and he means good. I appreciate that rulership is not easy, but, there is a basic thing; if you are able to put a good team together, you have achieved 60 percent success, because, if there are other interests, they can confuse you. This is because your eyes can’t get to everything.
“I laugh when I hear of his endorsements. His reelection is a done deal. There will not be any contest between him and anyone.
“I much appreciate what he is doing in the area of community development, like the idea of getting communities to identify projects that would be done in each community, and, then, he’ll fund it. He gave N10 million to each community. Fantastic arrangement! It made development reach all the communities at the same time. I think that is a very good policy.
“And, I advice him, in his second term, there would be need for human capital development on a massive scale. It’s in the overall good of the less privileged people.”
The elder statesman condemned the recent burning of campaign vehicles belonging to both the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Enugu State.
“These are strange things and a primitive attitude. They don’t even understand what politics is all about. We’ve far gone beyond that.
“Enugu is too peaceful for that kind of thing. It’s just a waste of time. You can’t intimidate the masses. Gone are the days you burn and shoot your way to power, it’s a waste of time. It’s uncalled for.
“I only pray security agents will nip this in the bud, arrest the people who did it and punish them.”
He, however, charged newsmen to work together with security personnel to fish out perpetrators of violence in the state.
“This sort of thing has never happened, even at the height of 1983 general elections. We never had this issue of vehicle burning and what have you. So, you people are better placed to help the security agents locate those who are responsible for that and get them punished.” This state has been the most peaceful in the country and we should continue to enjoy that peace. The peace we enjoy did not fall from the blues, it was the governor who created the atmosphere.
On the allegation that Governor Ugwuanyi’s administration favours Nsukka people more than other zones in the state, Chief Okuta dismissed such claims, saying that should not be taken seriously.
“What I tell you is that you should not attach importance to what ignorant people say. It’s a waste of time.”