Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
The second term ambition of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State received a major boost Wednesday as professors from Udi and Ezeagu Local Government Areas in the state have unanimously threw their weight behind his re-election.
They described Ugwuanyi’s second term as the only way to sustain the ‘amazing tempo of development and good governance’ that the governor has established in the state.
The university dons made their feelings known when they paid a solidarity visit to the governor at the Government House, Enugu, pledging their readiness to mobilise the people of the state to ensure that the governor retained his position by 2019.
The leader of the group, which is operating under the umbrella of Udi Professors Association of Nigeria, Prof. Ike Oluka, expressed satisfaction with the peace and security existing in the state.
They also commended the governor for the array of achievements recorded by his administration.
Oluka commended Ugwuanyi for the high level of peace and security in the state as well as the prompt and regular payment of workers’ salaries, which have brought stability in the education sector, such that no staff or student industrial unrest were recorded since he assumed duty as governor.
He thanked the governor for utilising the bailout funds to support state-owned tertiary institutions, especially the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT) and others.
The professors however urged Governor Ugwuanyi to pay serious attention in his second term, to the creation of industrial parks in the state, as a way of creating employment for the state’s teeming population of youths.
Professor Oluka described the association’s endorsement of the governor for a second term as unique and unprecedented, pointing out that it was the first time that university professors in the state were coming together to endorse a serving governor despite diverse political orientations.
In his response, Ugwuanyi thanked the professors for their support and endorsement, saying he was encouraged by their courage and candour.
The governor eulogised Nigerian professors and used the opportunity to challenge them to use their research experience to attract grants to complement the development efforts of the state government.
Ugwuanyi remarked that special centres, such as malaria control, kidney, and heart, among others, could be attracted to the state through research grants.
The governor pledged to bring some of the academics and technocrats into his administration to enhance the actualisation of government’s vision for the state.
He however urged academics in the state to be ready at all times, to lend their assistance to the government through the development of useful memos and papers that would prompt or guide the policies of government.
Among the members present were former ESUT Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ikechukwu Chidobem, Professors O.C. Iloeje, F. C. Eze, Agu Gab Agu, Chike Anibeze and Osmond Ene.