Prince Nnah Marcel Chukwuemeka, a politician cum businessman, spoke on contemporary political issues in the South East and concludes that Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has so far, performed exceedingly well. ABBANOBI-EKU ONYEKA reports. Excerpts:
What is your assessment of Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi so far?
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has positively proved to be different, because the essence of governance is for the man who steers the ship to put in his best and leave behind positive legacies at the end of his tenure. From the giant strides so far recorded by Gov. Ugwuanyi, it shows clearly that his predecessor, Barr. Sullivan Chime, made a very distinct and credible choice for the people of Enugu state by bringing on board the great achiever we have today in the name of Rt Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi. In fact, Ugwuanyi became victorious in that election even before the election date due to his past achievements at the National Assembly, in constituency and community development and other places he had worked.
However, no matter how well one may have performed, critics must still find one thing or the other against that person which is normal in a democracy. Even at that, his critics are today hailing him for his sterling performances which shows clearly that he has recorded several achievements, even beyond expectation.
Can you be precise on some of these achievements?
Ugwuanyi is the first governor of Enugu state who ever remembered people that were cut off economically, socially and otherwise by constructing the forgotten Inyaba Ndemnde bridge that connects several communities in Amagunze, Nkanu East Local Government Area and also the Ebonyi River bridge in Ikem, Isiuzo Local Government Area. These twin projects alone have in no small measure boosted people’s admiration of him. He has equally done well in the areas of education and health sectors. He has completed several other projects among which were the construction and completion of the much talked-about 9th Mile by-pass. I wish that you would have the time to visit the place and see how the governor’s intervention permanently resolved the terrible traffic hold-up at the place. Also the dualisation of the Opi - Nsukka and Obolo roads are landmark achievements. Similarly, the construction of the Egede junction road in Udi Local Government Area and numerous serious intervention on federal roads which hitherto collapsed in the state.
It is also gratifying to acknowledge that the governor has relocated the Enugu State Technical College to its permanent site in Awgu; launched a program for the empowerment of the very poor and rural traders under the Enugu State Empowerment Scheme through which he assisted such indigent traders with N60 million to support their businesses, among numerous completed and on-going projects.
What did your Agba Umana people get from his government?
My community, Agba Umana is one of the communities that has benefited immensely. Before his inception as a governor, the water reservoir in my community had been very bad and beyond usage. But when he came on board, he came to our rescue and the reservoir has since been restored. The reservoir I am referring to is not such a small one, that a community can just take up and fix. Knowing the value of water to people in a community, he took it up and my people are now enjoying free flowing clean water as a major dividend of democracy.
Also, it is in his time that the dormant electricity project in Agba Umana, my community was commissioned. In fact there are several projects scattered across several communities in the three senatorial districts of the state of which I have mentioned some communities earlier.
Can you draw any comparism with his predecessors: Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani and Barr. Sullivan Chime?
I want us to recall that the duo were in office when the economy wasn not in a mess. The present federation allocations are nothing compared with what obtained before Gov. Ugwuanyi took over office. Chimaroke Nnamani and Sullivan Chime did their best while they held office as governor, but Ifeanyi Ugwuanyj came on board when the country was undergoing serous economic recession and still, he was able to manage the meagre resources at his disposal prudently, recording jiant strides.
There is something I want you to note, even as the mega revenue receiving states were battling to pay workers salaries some time last year, Ugwuanyi had been paying salaries and in addition, flagged off 35 new projects and was also diligently paying contractors, civil servants and retirees as at and when due. What more need I say? Do we also note the level of security in the state? Nobody is afraid anymore unlike sometime in the past and life is bubbling in all parts of the state. I must say the governor is doing very well and we all need to encourage him.
Why resort to praise singing. Are you not looking for favours?
You have the right to think like that, but pregnancy is never hidden from the public. I am not looking for anything, I am only saying what I know to be the truth. The governor’s achievements are so conspicuous to the extent that he is rated to be among the governors to have served the state very creditably by most communities and personalities within and outside the state in the area of resource management.
But some people criticise his approach to the handling of the massacre of citizens of the state by Fulani herdsmen, especially at Nimbo in Uzo-uwani Local Government Area?
The Governor did the right thing during that particular ugly incidence and other such incidences. It is on record that the Governor was the first state chief executive to immediately rush to the Aso Rock to report the matter to President Muhammadu Buhari and to register his grievances. Because of that visit to Aso Rock and the approach he adopted, the federal government had to send well-mobilised mobile policemen and other law enforcement agents to all the nooks and crannies of the state with equipment to prevent future attacks. This singular action has not only mitigated the evil operators from carrying out those evil acts, but the arrested culprits are facing the law.
Which areas would you like the governor to improve upon?
Thank you very much. I would however like him to put more efforts in the area of provision of rural electricity in order to make electricity, especially in the rural communities, to be a bit more stable. You will agree with me that those who were concessioned electricity in the country are not interested in expanding or even improving on the existing infrastructure. They only want to make money and nothing more. Electricity problem had all the time been a general problem in the country and I believe if Governor Ugwuanyi channels his focus a little to that sector, he will achieve so much and his people will love him the more.
I also urge the governor to ensure that he maintained his Economic Team, as they are the magic behind the good performance in the state.
Do you have words of advice for the Governor?
I urged the people of Enugu State to continue to support him because he has a great vision; let them follow a man whom God has injected into the heart of the people.
I would also like the governor to critically look into the area of security. It is important that the pesistent Fulani herdsmen attacks on innocent agrarian communities are curbed and eventually stopped so that farmers in our communities will do their farming without the fear of being killed, kidnapped or have the women raped. People cannot get full nutrition by eating only cow meat so, the governor has to liaise well with the federal government to curb the excesses of these Fulani herdsmen. Security of lives and property remains paramount and so, the small criminals in the communities have to be checked also.