Recently, members and leaders of the All Progressives Congress gathered at the Convention Hall of Nike Lake Resort, Enugu, in solidarity with one of their staunch members from Enugu State, the Nigerian Ambassador to Republic of India with Concurrent Accreditation to Bangladesh and Nepal, Major General Chris Sunday Eze (rtd). Eze was accorded a befitting reception by Enugu State Government in respect of his new appointment.
The event attracted notable leaders of the APC, namely, Senator Ken Nnamani, Senator Jim Nwobodo, Director General of Voice of Nigeria, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, Senator Fidelis Okoro, former governorship candidate of the APC, Chief Okey Ezea, former Speaker of Enugu State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Eugene Odoh, Chief Gbazuagu Nweke Gbazuagu, and Senator Emma Anosike. It provided a veritable platform for them to appreciate the uncommon leadership style of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyiâ€™s Peoples Democratic Party government in Enugu State.
National Vice Chairman of All Progressives Congress in the South-east, Hon. Emma Eneukwu, in his goodwill message, commended Ugwuanyi for his bi-partisan approach to governance. Eneukwu said such an exceptional disposition had united leaders of the state, irrespective of their political affiliations. He stated without that the governor had created a peaceful atmosphere that had made it possible for everybody to unite when it comes to issues concerning the state.
â€œI want to thank God for today, because this thanksgiving signifies the fact that whatever we do in this state, we are one. Whether you are PDP, you are APC; you are all these political parties, once any of us achieves anything that is worth commending, it is worthy of note that the kind of governor we have is one who appreciates your talent irrespective of your party,â€ Eneukwu said.
The APC chief also praised Ugwuanyi for the security in Enugu State.
Also speaking at the event, Nnamani, a former Senate President, said that Ugwuanyi had demonstrated political maturity by creating an ambience of peace and tranquillity where everybody is accorded his or her due respect irrespective of political divide. Nnamani applauded Ugwuanyi for providing quality leadership in the state, adding that the governor has through the reception for Eze reaffirmed that he is â€œa governor for everybodyâ€. He called on other states to emulate what was happening in Enugu State, saying, â€œOur National Vice Chairman has alluded to the fact that we are enjoying peace in Enugu State, and we are enjoying somebody that has a large heart, not minding his political affiliation.â€
Okechukwu also appreciated the governorâ€™s bi-partisan disposition, saying the APC will not take such a rare gesture for granted.
From the foregoing, it is apparent that the policy thrust of Ugwuanyiâ€™s administration, anchored on peace and grassroots development initiatives, has yielded enormous progress and goodwill, resulting in the support the government enjoys from the opposition political parties. The governor has through the above initiatives redefined governance and brought it closer to the doorstep of the people â€“ the true heroes of democracy.
This uncommon attribute has gone a long way in reducing political tension in the state. It has provided the platform in which the government has thrived successfully in providing dividends of democracy to the people of the state, in spite of the daunting economic recession in the country. It has caused an enduring political evolution that needs to be distilled into the lexicon of other states and the country for the stability of the polity, as Nnamani noted.
It would be recalled that Ugwuanyi during his maiden media parley in June 2015 (shortly after his inauguration), organised to brief journalists on his plan for the state, disclosed his intention to run a peaceful, inclusive and purposeful government. He said that his administration will accommodate all former governors of the state and other leaders, stressing, â€œEverybody is our friend and the era of politics is over.â€
As a man of peace and a God-fearing leader, Ugwuanyi restated his administrationâ€™s resolve not to engage in any act that would undermine the peace of the state, saying, â€œWhere there is no peace, the people will not make meaningful progress.â€
According to him, â€œThe peace we enjoy here, we have to maintain that peace. Itâ€™s peace enmeshed in agape love, covered by the Holy Spiritâ€¦a situation where once there is a change of baton, the new guard will start fighting the old guards is over. It is not worth it, instead we will move from strength to strength.â€
It is pertinent to note that the recent verdict by leaders of the major opposition political party in the state, the APC, reconfirms that Ugwuanyi has kept faith with his peace and development initiatives. The APCâ€™s kudos for Ugwuanyi has further affirmed that the governor has, against all odds, remained focused and steadfast in his vision to continue to entrench good governance in the state. He has maintained a peaceful relationship with all spheres of the society, both the poor and the rich, an enduring leadership legacy that has ushered in a new vista for aggressive development of the state.
Apart from commendations from the APC, the state chapter of the Inter-Party Advisory Council, the umbrella organisation of all the political parties in Nigeria, had during the 2017 Democracy Day celebration scored Ugwuanyi high on good governance, peace and infrastructural development. IPAC was delighted at â€œthe governorâ€™s exhibition of vision, candour, humility, simplicity, inclusiveness and other uncommon leadership qualities that have endeared him to the people of the stateâ€.
The body, in a statement signed by its state chairman and secretary, John Nwobodo and Ken Onyekaonwu, respectively, said regarding the governor, â€œYour Excellency, following our objective and dispassionate assessment, we are pleased to say that we appreciate your achievements in the areas of road construction and rehabilitation, including intervention on federal roads; rural access roads and rural interconnectivity through bridges; peace and security; regular and prompt payment of salaries of civil servants and release of subventions to government parastatals and institutions.â€
It is also pertinent to note that the ruling PDP in Enugu State, where Ugwuanyi presides as the state leader, also enjoys the flame of the governorâ€™s uncommon leadership style.
The governor has through the administrationâ€™s peace and development initiatives, systematically eschewed all endemic factors that had led to bickering, disunity or infighting in the PDP and has galvanised party leaders to work as one family for the progress of the party and its government in the state. This, no doubt, informed the recent well deserved endorsement of his re-election in 2019 by the PDP.
The State Executive Committee of PDP, the highest decision-making organ of the party before the State Congress, had a few weeks ago â€œunanimously endorsed Ugwuanyi for second term in office in 2019 for his outstanding achievements and commitment to peace and participatory democracyâ€.
In all, it is explicit that Ugwuanyiâ€™s disposition to peace, good governance and inter-party relationship has brought enormous benefits to Enugu State and has reshaped the political landscape for responsible and peaceful engagements in the governance of the state.
â€“â€“â€“Amoke writes from Enugu.