When Barrister Sullivan Chime held sway in Enugu State, I never believed that his successor would better his record because he appreciated and delivered the essence of good governance. I also never knew that Sullivan was just another Sundiata of ancient Mali Empire laying a solid foundation for Rt.Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who, over time, has become the Mansa Musa (who took over the reins of government from Sundiata) not of Mali but the Coal State.
Musa was so exceptional that his name and personality became synonymous with the ancient kingdom and was acknowledged by one and all globally. Of course, Musa’s accomplishments became so quintessential that his name featured on the list of the world’s greatest leaders at the time. Ugwuanyi, from all indications, is exponentially turning to another Musa in Enugu State. Lest I am misconstrued, not all governors (or other leaders, as the case may be) perform creditably in administration.
There would always be exceptions—just like other issues in life, but the rule of the thumb is that expectations are usually high when such people are given tasks at summit level. In the same breath, even my ideals here may not be exemplars to a few hypercritics, who, naturally, have the inalienability of personal reservations and grouses about men of accomplishments in the eyes of the largest spectrum of the society. It is critical and germane to underscore this fact as we holistically examine what makes the Enugu taciturn revelation tick.
Since Ugwuanyi took charge in Enugu State, I have never come across any form of criticism from any source whatsoever. I stand to be challenged! What my eyes and ears are bombarded with are illimitable laudatory remarks. The kernel of the profiling is that the man has performed superlatively beyond anyone’s imagination in a country where governance has no credibility of any measure. Since the revalidation of democracy in Nigeria in 1999, the South East has been unfortunate with those who occupy the Government House. On a comparative note with other regions in the country, this axis is the worst in terms of virtually all parameters of development, particularly social infrastructure institutionalization. Apart from self-help human capital transformation, there is probably nothing else to cheer about in celebratory satiety.
Again, there had been exceptions like the late Dr. Samuel Onunaka Mbakwe (De Sam) of the old Imo State, Barrister Chime (aforementioned) and business icon, Mr. Peter Obi, former governor of Anambra State. It is important to note that, unlike the ubiquitous and loquacious governors who celebrate sinking of boreholes in their states (which a few youth corpers also do as part of their exceptional community service!) in this age with all the superfluous funds, particularly unaccounted security vote, at their disposal, Gburugburu does not engage in propaganda, obscenity of transnational wealth acquisition and other forms of audacious revelry and executive banditry.
You can now comprehend the correlation between the foregoing prefatory lines and this obviously dispassionate article in toast to a man that has the inclination to make a difference and even irrefutably better the records of the industrious and illustrious beacons mentioned earlier. His achievements since becoming the governor of Enugu State inimitably speak volumes. I doubt if there is any governor—serving and past—who has the kind of creditable public perception, across-the-board endorsement and pan-Nigeria/universal aplomb that Ugwuanyi has.
There is no doubt anywhere about the quality and quantum of governance in Enugu State, the magnitude of infrastructural renewal, interventionist disposition to natural disasters, investments in the education sector, public healthcare, agricultural transformations, housing and urban development, security that has made the state the most peaceful in the country, youth upgrade, mass employment opportunities and sporting upscale. These are the issues that have made the 57-year-old governor a referential leader who incontrovertibly towers above all his colleagues.
The unassailability of his leadership manifestations makes him especial among the entirety of his peers. Ugwuanyi’s leadership credentials are so ingenuous that most people would wonder endlessly what is it that makes this man tick and uniquely different from the pack. Another interesting aspect of this amazing governor is that even people in the rural areas of the state testify to the man’s beneficence as much as the urbanites. He certainly is not one of those governors who manage to give a semblance of leadership in the state capital to the exclusivity of other critical components of the state. If any corporate citizen or entrepreneur is looking for a place to reap fortunes from their investments, Enugu is the choicest area.
Ugwuanyi’s service to Enugu State, the South East and the generality of humanity is testamentary and unparalleled. His is a life dedicated to public good in all spheres of existential humanism. It has never happened in the South East particularly and, as they say, Nigeria generally. Ugwuanyi deserves daily toast for his indelible footprints of unprecedented latitude that smacks of incomparability.
Just last week, the fifth Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Rev. Henry Chukwudum Ndukuba, expressed the church’s confidence in Governor Ugwuanyi’s administrative competency: “You are one of the young men in politics we can look up to and have confidence that this nation has a future…through your leadership, this state will continue to grow from strength to strength.” What else do I need to add, especially coming from my church’s leader in Nigeria?
He has an unquenchable thirst for the meaningful transformation of his state. His hunger for the rediscovery and renewal of Enugu State is unprecedented. If I take other avowals on Gburugburu, this whole newspaper cannot definitely contain the serial avalanche. From all indications, I have the conviction that this exemplary governor who just turned 57 last week will distinguish himself from all his South East fossilized predecessors with the exclusion of Obi and Chime, both of whom left indelible marks, in an era of political charlatanism, power rascality and ludicrous personalization of public wealth. It is this insatiable domestication of patrimony that has left the zone almost beyond the point of redemption despite the arduous re-engineering efforts by the like of Ugwuanyi.
Already, some Nigerians are advocating presidential stint for Gburugburu based on his accomplishments in Enugu. While pondering the presidential demand, this is wishing Ugwuanyi more decades of divine health, athletic physicality, service to mankind and a well-deserved modest opulence as recompense for his years of diligence and anticipatory-cum-continual uplift of mankind.
I take off my hat to the people’s governor! It will continue to be well with you in the two remaining stanzas of 57 each! If I may ask, your Excellency, why are you so faultless and shorn of criticisms unlike your peers nationwide? Nigerians cannot wait much long for Gburugburu’s ordained presidency shortly!