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Day Igbo-Etiti people honoured Governor Ugwuanyi at Ogbede

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Enugu Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (right) former Governor of Enugu State, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo (2nd right), President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo (2nd left) and other notable indigenes of Igbo Etiti council area at the civic reception for the governor by the people of the council in recognition of his remarkable achievements in office<br />

It was an unusual gathering of mammoth crowd at Ogbede, the headquarters of Igbo-Etiti local council area of Enugu State on Saturday March 11. Present at the place were indigenes of the 13 communities in the council area. They include seasoned academics, leaders of thought, professionals, traditional rulers, politicians, women groups, youths and others.

It looked like a political rally, but it was not considering the calibre of the people present. There were bold inscriptions like Gburugburu, Thank you so much, Gburugburu, you are welcome and others on the banners hung on strategic locations and displayed by several groups.

It was a civic reception organised by the people of Igbo-Etiti council area in honour of Enugu State, Mr Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and the official inauguration of Gburugburu Movement.

The event commenced with the arrival of Ugwuanyi and his entourage around 3.30pm. After the national anthem, opening prayer and protocols observed, kolanut was presented to Ugwuanyi by a former journalist and now the caretaker committee chairman of Igbo-Etiti council area, Mr. Malachy Agbo.

After this, Agbo mounted the podium to present his address. In his speech, Agbo thanked the governor for his uncommon transformation of the state, despite the paucity of fund. He also thanked him for appointing illustrious sons and daughters of the council area, which include Commissioner of Finance, Mrs Eucharia Offor, Special Adviser to the governor on State Assembly matter, Dr. Martin Oke, commissioner of Enugu State Capital Development Authority, Mr Chidi Aroh, Chairman, Enugu Urban Renewal Committee, Arch. Chris Offor and others into government positions.

In what looked like Oliver Twist’s mentality, Agbo appealed to the governor to rehabilitate some dilapidated roads within the council area namely-Ogbede-Aku-Nkologu road, Nze-Aku-Lejja-Nsukka road, Opi-Ogbede-Umoka highway and others. He told the governor that the people of the council area from all walks of life gathered today to honour him (governor) for his good works.

“I know you may be surprised with the crowd you saw here today. It is a true testimony of your acceptance among our people, because of your good works which is unprecedented in the history of governance in the state.

“Your style of leadership has not only engendered peace and development in the state, it has brought people from all walks of life together to move the state forward,’ Agbo said.

After Agbo’s address, first civilian governor of Enugu state and former national chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chief Okwesilieze Nwodo, was called upon to inaugurate the executive members of the Gburugburu Movement in the council area led by Prof. Fred Nwodo.
 
The chairman of the Movement and academic, Nwodo disclosed that the movement was first of its kind in the state since its creation in 1991.Nwodo said: “We are not here to play politics as you know we are not politicians, but core professionals. But because we are convinced and pleased with your sterling performance, we have decided not to sit back and watch any more. We are determined and ready to get involved by supporting and co-operating with your government to ensure that the development, peace and unity you have made possible in the state will stand the test of time.
 
“In you, we saw a leader with a vision; a leader who believed in peace, unity, progress and wellbeing of the people. You have not only provided leadership, you have consistently shown the character of a true leader. We are very grateful and proud of you being our own son.”
 
Also in his remarks, the senator representing Enugu North district, Senator Chuka Utazi who was on governor’s entourage said: “I am overwhelmed with what I saw here today. The people of Igbo-Etiti have set the pace. I want to thank you people for this and I am assuring you that my council area (Uzo-Uwani) and other council areas in the state have no option than to join this moving train called Gburugburu Movement. One good thing about it is that it is all encompassing and inclusive. It involves politicians, academics and everybody from the state. What a unique and wonderful integration”

In his remarks, Governor Ugwuanyi, thanked the people of Igbo-Etiti and assured them that his government would look into their requests. The governor enumerated the challenges his government is facing since he assumed office, which major among them is paucity of fund.
 
The governor said: “Before I assumed office, there was no paucity of fund like this in government, because the price of crude oil was on the high side. With the decline in the price, many states find it difficult to pay salaries not to talk of embarking on capital projects.

“But in Enugu, we have continued to prudently manage our little resources to develop the state. We are not deterred by the challenging situation we found ourselves, rather we will continue to attend to the needs of our people to the best of our abilities. We will continue to pay salary and execute more capital projects to make life easier for our people.
 
“I am humbled by the honour accorded to me here today. I thank immensely those behind the Gburugburu Movement. It is a movement and a concept that will not only unite our people, but will bring rapid development and peace. There will be total and genuine reconciliation among us and together we can move mountain.’
 
Meanwhile, political observers are of the opinion that with this development, which is first of its kind in the state, some politicians who have been creating divisions for selfish reasons will have a rethink and get ready for participatory and all-inclusive politics, devoid of rancour and bitterness. With governor Ugwuanyi’s performance and leadership style, which has brought the people of Enugu state together, the state may witness a different kind of politics in 2019, where politics, performance and great ideas will go together for greater result, development and peace.


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Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi
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