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52 hearty surprises for Enugu people


Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi

Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi

Those who have keenly followed the activities of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi since he assumed duties as the state’s chief executive have been inundated with surprises with the turn of events. They have come face-to-face with some native wisdoms, which some construe, or misconstrue as studied art of manoeuvring, intractable logic, constructive engagement to disarm the opponent, among other interpretations.

These conjectures are part of the growing surprises in the minds of those who had taken the governor’s quiet and taciturn mien before he assumed office as a weakness from the point of view of inability to express himself or navigate through entwined political situations required of a governor’s status. As he celebrates his 52nd birthday on Sunday, March 20, both his admirers and supposed detractors cannot but concede that the man has clearly shown astuteness in handling state craft.

A good number of cursory observers had erroneously thought that Ugwuanyi’s philanthropic pedigree, which has made him a lavish giver as a private person presupposed that he would squander, or mismanage the resources of Enugu state. These people now have been shocked when they come face-to-face with the utmost frugality exhibited by the governor in all his official dealings. The realisation is that although the governor’s acts of kindness reverberate among the needy, but handles all financial matters of the state with the kind of deliberate detailed disposition that underlines his consciousness of public accountability and public interest. This marvels his observers.

It has also become a common feature among his close observers that in government, Ugwuanyi has become quintessential in the art of words-engineering while holding engagements with the endless streams of visitors- diplomats, frontline leaders, business groups, investors, among various stakeholder groups- that have interfaced with him, especially at the Government House, Enugu.

Being involved in his administration has really become a school of life experience and adherence to a service mode that  demands self denials, especially when it comes to the demands of extra man-hours in a bid to meet up with the amazing bundle of energies that are lurked in the governor’s elements. The leader who has been bestriding the coal city state’s seat of power with his now famous bag filled with native wisdom is certainly blazing the trail as he marks his 52nd birthday today Sunday, March 20. It is therefore not for nothing that his close working associates, who should know, have things to say about him; and on his birthday.

Excerpts from some of the outpouring of goodwill messages for him corroborate these views.
Secretary to the state government, Gabriel Ajah, mni, writing on behalf of the members of the state executive council said the governor has a deep and unassailable character that goes to cap his equally deep love for the people he governs.

In their separate comments, commissioner for environment, Amb. Fidel Ayogu, commissioner for education, Prof. Uche Eze and the Special Adviser on Education, Dr. Sam Ugwu, pointed out that it was a most fulfilling experience working with a governor of the character of Ugwuanyi whom they agreed fits most appropriately into the position of piloting the affairs of the state at these very hard times.

Accountant general of the state, Mr. Pascal Okolie, noted that “he is a man of the people, three-time active member of the House of Representatives, a governor that ensures the payment, training and promotion of workers in spite of the dwindling resources, a willing servant of the people who insists on providing infrastructures that enhance the well-being of Enugu state nay Nigeria as evidenced in the number of roads being rehabilitated/built, improved security services and social services”.
• Abugu, chief press secretary to Governor Ugwuanyi wrote from Enugu State

Addressing the governor on behalf of the management and staff of the Enugu State Polytechnic, Iwollo, the rector, Dr. Moses Okonkwo, brought to the bare some of the surprises Governor Ugwuanyi has thrown up in his strides as governor. In their birthday message, observing that the governor is a team player “and your team mentoring initiatives are exceptional.”

Similar exhortations came from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in the state, the chairman of the state Local Government Service Commission, Chukwuemeka Nwatu, who was impressed about the governor’s ability to pay salaries on the 25th of every month in spite of the present very crunchy economic situation; as well as being a prudent manager of scarce resources.

Today is certainly the governor’s happy day. How long the happiness and fulfilment last depends on how much he is able to put smiles on the face of his people of Enugu State. Considering the many rivers to cross, the challenge is daunting; but Governor Ugwuanyi’s resolve to succeed is equally unflinching.

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