MAURICE OKAFOR writes that for exhibiting hard work and transparent services in their conduct of 2019 General elections, on the basis of which the Enugu state branch of the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC] is rated among the best in the country, the African Students Union Parliament (ASUP,),the umbrella body of all tertiary students from the 54 Countries in African Continent has bestowed awards on the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner[REC] in Enugu, Dr Emeka Ononamadu and the entire staff of the commission in Enugu state.
ASUP officials led by it’s Speaker, Mr Abel Okewu, said the body deemed Enugu REC, Dr Emeka Ononamadu and the rest of INEC staff in Enugu fit for their awards, after monitoring closely their comparative advantage over other states during the conduct of the 2019 General elections, which they exhibited whole hardheartedly in their commitment and collect efforts to have ensured transparent and credible elections were conducted in Enugu state.
His words, ‘We can attest to how this office conducted a flawless and rancour-free elections in Enugu State, which is widely accepted by all as the most peaceful and stress-free elections in the state,’’ Okewu said.
The much talked about transformation in Africa can only start with committed men like Ononamadu and his team of assistants in INEC Enugu
State,’’ he noted.
ASUP, which is a pan-African students movement gave award of“Hard work and Dedication’’ to INEC’s Enugu State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Emeka Ononamadu.
ASUP also presented another award of excellence to the entire staff of INEC in Enugu state for their team work which endeared conduct of credible election in the state, which they reckoned as one of the best throughout the 36 states in Nigeria.
Responding Enugu Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr Emeka Ononamadu dedicated the awards to God Almighty for his wisdom and guidance and to all staff of the commission in Enugu state for their diligence and steadfastness throughout the period of the election.
Dr Ononamadu stated, ‘`Without you people (staff) this story today will not be told. I thank you people and I think we have built a very formidable foundation in INEC here in Enugu State,’’ he said.
He urged the staff to re-dedicate themselves to the service of the nation especially on preparation for the 2023 General Elections.
The reward for hard work is more work and sustaining that which you are good at’.
Ononamadu said that Enugu State is the state with the least number of petitions in the electoral tribunal, adding that it shows that INEC did its best very well and did not create loopholes for complaints or disagreements.
I also believe that with time, some petitioners, even among the few, will see reasons to withdraw from the tribunal,’’ he noted.
According to him, credible election is just the foundation for good governance, which Africans yearn for; while if elections do not produce credible leaders, Africa will continue in backwardness..
2nd Term- Ugwuanyi’s goodwill and challenge of development.
MAURICE OKAFOR as well writes that with the elections over, all eyes are now on the Enugu state governor, Rt Hon Lawrence Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who has been re-elected for a second term in office, to take Enugu state to the next level of development, even as he is seemingly enjoying the support of all in this onerous task.
From all indications, all rank and files of opposition against his re-election have since thrown in their towel and demonstrated their support for Governor Ugwuanyi to continue with his laudable projects, meant for the overall development of the state.
This stems from the fact of a new leaf of political understanding among the 2019 General election political umpires of the various political parties outside PDP in the state, to accept their defeat in good faith, for the general interest of letting Governor Ugwuanyi continue with his developmental agenda of the state without undue delay.
At the last count, the APC governorship candidate, Senator Ayogu Eze, who has been the arch-rival of Governor Ugwuanyi in the Enugu state governorship contest, and who had also locked horns with Governor Ugwuanyi in the 2015 Enugu PDP primaries, recently wished the state good governance under Governor Ugwuanyi.
Senator Eze said he will not be a cog in the development of Enugu state, as some political juggernauts/elders[his kinsmen] from Enugu North senatorial district paid him a courtesy call in his Enugu Residence and made peace overtures that will endear enabling environment for development of the entire state.
Prior to Senator Eze’s declaration, other political party’s governorship candidates had withdrawn from the contest on the eve of the elections, while others congratulated Governor Ugwuanyi for winning overwhelmingly immediately after the election. The likes of Rotarian Emeka Nwankpa, the APGA governorship candidate have declared interest to play advisory roles in Governor Ugwuanyi’s development initiatives for Enugu state. Over 70 political party executives with their members surrendered for Governor Ugwuanyi on the eve of the election.
Ahead of the May 29 inauguration and swearing of Governor Ugwuanyi for a second term, political analysts in Enugu who spoke to ”The AUTHORITY’ South-East on conditions of anonymity are saying that the burden of challenge that is confronting Governor Ugwuanyi, with which he will write his name in the sands of prints as one of the best governors who have governed Enugu state, is if he succeeds to create more cities outside Enugu metropolis.
Their view stems on research findings that over seventy percent of Enugu citizens who reside in the rural areas are gunning for developmental strides that will spring up more developed towns in the state, so as to curtail the ever increasing migration to Enugu metropolis in view of the impediments of population explosion that is gradually at its grip.
The analysts stressed that the university town of Nsukka can be developed more than its present status through agricultural revolution which equally will stimulate establishment of agro- allied industries in the area. Even as Enugu North senatorial district with border towns like Obolloafor, Enugu Ezike, based on their Geographical disposition are gateway from the South East to the North, with seamless viable economic potentials that will ginger urbanization of several communities in the area .
The analysts pointed out that Oji River town, which originally was discovered by the British colonialists, who established the Oji Thermal power station and the ‘Wonderful Spring water’ with over 90 percent purity, which is currently underutilised, is another town in Enugu state with great potentials yet to be developed to add to the economy of the state.
They expressed optimism that more socio economic and developmental activities will flow down from Awka, the capital of Anambra state into Enugu state, with establishment of an industrial estate, Housing estate etc at Oji town, since it is the border town between Enugu and Anambra states.
The analysts expressed conviction that the envisaged Oji River township, when all the neglected federal and state government establishments such as the Federal Veterinary services, Federal cooperatives college , School of Health technology, Oji River are in its optimum utilization. They opined that the Oji River General hospital , maximum utilization of pure natural water from the Oji wonderful springs most of which are currently wasted as runoff water, due to lack of reservoirs to store and ginger it’s renewed reticulation to Oji urban area and nearby towns of Achi, Inyi, Ugwuoba, Udi,Obinofia Ndiuno in Ezeagu local government area etc, shall also paly critical roles.
According to them, Oji River already possesses the socio economic potentials to spring up as another urban area in Enugu state, a nucleus of metropolitan for several rural communities under Udi local government area, Oji River and Ezeagu local government areas as well. In addition to boosting inter connectivity of socio economic and commercial activities between Enugu and Anambra states, in respect of its geographical location as a border town between the two states.