Initially, it started like a rumour. Afterwards, billboard with the inscription proposed site for Federal Polytechnic Ohodo was erected at the site. Even at that, the few cynics and doubting Thomases, who never see anything good in Ugwuanyi’s government were dismissive of it. They went to town saying that it was not about putting up a billboard, but securing approval and commencement of the project.
They were highly skeptical of its possibility. They were of the parochial and fixated views that the All Progressives Congress (APC) led-Federal Government will not easily grant such approval or concede such a monumental and enduring legacy project like Federal Polytechnic to Enugu State under Ugwuanyi’s watch for reasons which include that Ugwuanyi is not of APC stock and he has not overtly made move to attract such gigantic and development project from the Federal Government before now.
They taunted Ugwuanyi’s administration and labelled it a failure. For sense of entitlement mentality, they were critical and antagonistic of Ugwuanyi and his government. They maliciously and emotionally compared Ugwuanyi’s administration with that of his predecessors, without factually and statistically placing critical issues like state of the economy, state wage bill, political awareness, cost of running government, political situations, and other key indices of governance then and since Ugwuanyi assumed office.
But today, all these are now balderdash and beer parlour talks for Ugwuanyi has once again proven them wrong with the circulating approval letter with N2b take-off grant addressed to him and signed by Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Education, Arch. Sonny S. T. Echono on behalf of Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, for the immediate establishment and take-off of the Federal Polytecthnic Ohodo in Igbo-Etiti LGA of Enugu.
What a masterstroke by a leader who knows his way, where and how to get what he wants without being noisy. Where are the social media rabblerousers, especially from Enugu North Senatorial zone, who have despite Ugwuanyi’s numerous developmental projects in the zone and across the state failed to acknowledge or appreciate his government’s unrelenting efforts in the face of obvious, numerous and daunting challenges. Where are they? It is time for them to bury their heads in shame and tender unreserved apology.
But shamelessly, they are among those celebrating and circulating the approval letter for the establishment of Federal Polytechnic Ohodo on social media platforms, without asking how it was made possible at last. They have easily forgotten their baseless, uninformed and armchair criticisms against a quiet and performing government of Ugwuanyi. They are now on the defensive, saying that their malicious criticisms of Ugwuanyi’s administration was to spur it to do more for the zone, forgetting that Ugwuanyi is not governor of Enugu North zone alone, but the entire Enugu State, who voted him into office and remained supportive of him till date.
Meanwhile, whichever way or means Ugwuanyi’s government achieved this feat of attracting the Federal Polytechnic to the state is worthy of commendations and celebrations. I cannot remember how many APC governors or stakeholders that have attracted such project to their respective states with ease since 2015. The Polytechnic when completed will be of immense benefit to the people of Enugu State, especially the Enugu North people, who have clamoured for such project before now.
The approval for the establishment of the Federal Polytechnic Ohodo will indeed leapfrog the economic, human and developmental capital and status of the entire state, particularly Enugu North zone and Igbo-Etiti LGA. It will complement and co-exist side by side with the University of Nigeria in Nsukka, the ongoing ESUT Teaching Hospital at Igbo-ano and the relocated Enugu State Polytecthnic Ezimo.
For those who have wondered or may be wondering how Ugwuanyi’s government facilitated the approval for establishment of Federal Polytechnic Ohodo, there is nothing to wonder or be surprised about. This is because Ugwuanyi has from the inception of his administration displayed a high level of diplomatic/ bipartisan panache in his engagements, especially with the APC-led government at the centre, without compromising anything, not even his loyalty to his party and commitment to good governance, accountability and prudence.
He has been consistent in doing this at all levels of his engagements as governor without swashbuckling. That is his leadership style and it has worked for him.
It would be recalled that when Enugu International Airport was closed down for rehabilitation last year, Ugwuanyi worked assiduously behind the scene to ensure that Federal Government quickly commenced and completed works at the airport. His government also ensured that the ESBS radio mast which had been a problem to the navigational facilities at the airport was relocated from Ngwo to Udi without delay. Mopol Base at Agu-Ekwegbe along Enugu-Opi-Nsukka was also attracted by Ugwuanyi’s government.
For the few sceptics and armchair critics of Ugwuanyi’s administration who are mainly from Enugu North Senatorial zone, the Adada State of Nsukka people’s dream may come to fruition before Ugwuanyi leaves office. It is already in the air. What is expected of the people of Enugu people is to continue to support, pray and constructively engage Ugwuanyi’s government.
Ugwuanyi may not be among the noisy politicians that are always in the news, he has shown tremendous capacity of a great leader, who can achieve much quietly without much ado. It is a fact that his government has a good working relationship with all within the state and beyond, including the opposition parties.
He is very accommodating, patience, humble and tolerant. He considers the overall interest of Enugu people first before any other interest. This is what makes him and his government different and exceptionally acceptable to the majority of Enugu people and people outside the state.
*Onah writes from Opi Nsukka, Enugu State