The Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has urged all levels of government in Nigeria to emulate the inclusive governance model of the Governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, stressing that only such could effectively deal with the perennial challenge of agitations in the country.
He said the Enugu State Government had continued to change the narrative of governance in the state by not only assuring equitable development, but also giving the people the opportunity to determine their priorities in terms of the choice and site of projects.
He noted that such governance paradigm would trigger accelerated development of the state and peace in the state.
Ekweremadu stated this at the weekend at Ndeaboh, Aninri Local Government Area, of the state, during the flag-off of the Uhuogiri/Nenwe/Oduma road, which was among the 35 new major development projects being undertaken simultaneously in all the 17 LGAs of the state by the state government.
He reiterated that the most important element of governance was the inclusion of all in the scheme of things, noting that the agitations experienced in some parts of country were fruits of perceived injustice and exclusion from governance and development.
He said: “The important thing in governance is to ensure that every component part of the people you are governing is included in the scheme of things; that is the only way you can stop agitation.
“In Nigeria today, there are agitations in parts of the country, the reason being that they have been excluded from the scheme of things in the federal government, for instance. So, until you address this issue of inclusiveness and justice in Nigeria, in every state and in all the local governments, we will continue to witness agitations.
“Even those who didn’t vote for you, deserve their democratic and constitutional rights because once elections are over, politics is over, and what remains is leadership; and inclusiveness is a critical part of true leadership.”
He urged the contractors to do very diligent work, as the era of passive interest by communities was over.
The Deputy Senate President promised that the communities and political leaders would monitor the projects diligently to ensure that there is value for the money expended by the projects.
He also paid glowing tribute to the governor for his tremendous support and solidarity during the course of the trumped-up forgery case against himself, the Senate President and two others.
The state Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Patrick Ikpenwa, who represented the Enugu State Governor, said it was the first time deliberate efforts were made by an administration in the state to involve the people in the process of projects selection.
He called on the projects host communities to own and protect the projects.
Also speaking, the Chairman of Aninri Local Government Council, Prince Chidi Ekwe, described the flag-off as a reflection of Governor Ugwuanyi administration’s practical efforts to meet the yearnings of the people, adding that the development would guarantee better quality of life for the people.