Nsukka: University communities celebrate urban renewal
Commend Ugwuanyi’s Development Initiative
Last Tuesday, a grand reception was put together for Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi by natives of the university town of Nsukka, the second largest urban area in the coal city state. It was a day both the indigenes and other residents of the town rolled out their drums of honour to salute the governor, a man who to them, came with a Midas touch after decades of official neglect that left the area in a rustic state, making the town a ridicule of an ideal university city.
The governor’s speedy transformation of the town in less than two years has certainly struck the people like a pleasant dream situation. But it is a reality that the roads infrastructure delivered to the people by the Ugwuanyi administration certainly meets every international standard. The state of the arte dual carriage way coursing from Opi Junction through adjoining Ede-Oballa Community through the varsity town has been decked with street lights, just as the various roads delivered by the magical hands of the governor are beautifully garlanded with novel pedestrian walkways.
Hence, on that occasion, the people exuded hilarity. Their expressions of joy, satisfaction, sense of belonging now freely donated to them by the Ugwuanyi administration knew no bounds at Ugwuoye Primary School, the modest venue of the grand reception. And they expressed these in various cultural dance performances, in effusive renditions during speech making, in their avalanche of heartfelt show of hospitality and in their large turn-out. In solidarity with the governor on that fateful Tuesday were personalities such as Prof. Uche Azikiwe, wife of the late first president of Nigeria, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, deputy governor of the state, Hon. Cecilia Ezeilo, Senator Chukwuka Utazi, representing Enugu North Senatorial zone in the Senate and president-general of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, among others.
Chief Donatus Chinweaku is the president-general of Nsukka Town Union and spoke generally collectively for the grateful people of the four autonomous community that make up Nsukka town.
Addressing Ugwuanyi as the people’s governor, he stated that “this great occasion could not have taken place at a time better than now as our people have longed for a day like this.” He informed that the reception was “organised by the entire people of Nsukka town to appreciate in a very special way our own son with whom we are well pleased.”
He further capped the people’s appreciation thus: “Your Excellency, we lack words to express our immeasurable joy for having a brave and courageous Lion like you. Today Nsukka history will never be complete without mentioning you in a special way. This is because what the town had been yearning for has been made real, physical and evidence-based in terms of getting commensurate democratic dividends. You have not only given a new look to Nsukka town, but equally a new look to our economy, a new look to our peace and unity, a new look to our dignity and most importantly a new look to our political status.”
The people of the area also set the tone for what turned out a general political stocktaking by the people of the state that eventually resulted in an overwhelming approval of the governor’s profound and legendary style of stewardship since he assumed office on May 29, 2015. In their speech as delivered by Chinweaku, they had also told Governor Ugwuanyi that “You have restored hope to our people and also presented yourself as an epitome of undiluted democrat through your wide consultations, peace-building and people-oriented projects executed with prudent management of scarce resources.
“You have proved your mettle by dwelling on the height of recession to break the ice of impossibilities. You have set an unbeatable standard in good governance that constitutes threat to your detractors. Remain focused”, they told the governor whom they also assured that campaigns for his re-election come 2019 have already been consummated.
Governor Ugwuanyi had during his inaugural address pronounced his grand plans to transform the university town of Nsukka, a city founded over 50years ago, into an ideal urban area, especially to come at par with other first generation university towns elsewhere in Nigeria. He never minced words.
He later promptly secured the approval of a very expanded meeting of stakeholders of the state held at the Old Government Lodge, Enugu, to go ahead to develop Nsukka Urban in line with one of the four-point agenda of his administration to create new urban centres to drive sustainable development for the state.
Hence, the event offered a huge opportunity of scoring high political points for the governor whose popularity rating has continued to grow in leaps and bounds within and beyond Enugu state. Among those who urged him to continued with the current tempo of development that now touches all 17 local council areas of the state in a manner never experienced before were Senator Utazi, Senator Fidelis Okoro, Hon. Chinedu Nwamba and Hon. Nkechi Omeje-Ogbu of Enugu State House of Assembly, various groups, industrialists, among others.
In fact, Senator Okoro, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former three-time member of the senate representing Enugu North zone in the senate capped the plethora of calls on the governor not to bother to return to campaign in the town he has so transformed come 2019. Okoro told the governor that he has been governor for all and that if in 2019, the people want him to get his second term in office, he(Okoro) would not be found wanting in offering his own support.
For the apparently elated governor who had to manage the deluge of encomiums and sundry kind words in acknowledgement of his outstanding performance so far, it was also an opportunity to thank the people for their show of love. Yet, he also used the occasion to assure the people that his administration has never tampered with funds belonging to the local councils in the state, while executing all the projects across the state.
• Abugu wrote from Independence Layout Enugu