The endorsement of the governor of Enugu State, Rt Honourable Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as the governorship candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Enugu State, by 2, 895 delegates of the party, is inspiring. This is not surprising because the governor’s developmental strides in the state are so conspicuous that even those who are blinded by hatred, cannot deny them. Hence, their Impact can be felt by all. As an incumbent governor, allowing the delegates to freely cast their votes without let or hinderance was another proof that when good governance prevails, politics becomes secondary. The governor’s unflinching commitment to delivering the dividends of democracy to the people, especially at the grassroots, disarmed his potential opponents who earlier expressed their intention to contest the office. In the face of daunting economic challenges, the governor demonstrated prudence and high sense of accountability in managing state resources, which he also deployed responsibly in uplifting the people through various projects he executed.Hence, when the delegates overwhelmingly showed support for Gburugburu, it was actually not a happenstance, but an attestation to Enugu people’s faith and confidence in the governor to sustain his style of leadership that has broken the chains of backwardness in almost all the nooks and crannies of the local government areas of the state. That Ugwuanyi was returned unopposed is an uncommon feat that even his political opponents may never be able to gain-say. It is so phenomenal, given the fact that this is the first time in the history of the state, that an incumbent governor was not challenged in a primary election.
Through unparalleled people-oriented governance, the governor has raised the bar of developmental standards to the chagrin of his detractors, who may not overtly want to sing his praises.
The peaceful conduct of the PDP’s governorship primary in Enugu further has proven that the peace and tranquility which Ugwuanyi’s leadership entrenched in the state, are not cosmetic, but a direct benefit of the natural humaneness flowing from the governor, who is an embodiment of peace.
It was this peace-loving attribute that played out when the Fulani herdsmen attack in Nimbo provoked unprecedented anger in the state, but was immediately brought under control by the governor’s Peace committee. His advocacy for peace has brought about the harmonious co-existence of farmers and the herdsmen in the state. The farmer-friendly policies of Ugwuanyi’s administration, have not only endeared him to the teeming farmers in the state, but have also gotten him another endorsement from them. When farmers’ groups in Enugu State recently gathered to endorse the governor for re-election, they were particularly excited that the present administration had helped to reduce prices of food items in the market. They extolled the governor’s commitment to the revitalisation of the AdaRice project, which has influenced the downward review of of the cost of a 50kg bag of rice from N18, 000 to N14, 000. It is also on record that the governor’s intervention in the rice value chain in the state has resulted in tremendous output increase from 1.5 tons per hectare to 4 to 5.6 tons per hectare. The motivation given to rice farmers in the state undoubtedly was responsible for the over 600,000 hectares cultivated, resulting in a total production of 1,800,000 metric tons.
In recognition of this impressive performance in the agriculture sector, the African Development Bank in partnership with the Federal Government has decided to establish Staple Crops Processing Zone in Enugu State. Farmers in the state have not stopped celebrating the resolve of the present administration to construct six Centre Pivot Irrigation Systems in some of the rural communities, with the aim of enabling rice production at least twice in a year. Another laudable project that has made the Gburugburu movement more attractive in Enugu State, was Ugwuanyi’s vision to provide agricultural feeder roads, totaling about 46.89 kilometers in 12 communities across the three senatorial zones, especially areas where rice is grown.
Some other achievements of the present administration in the agriculture sector, which are worth mentioning here, as they helped to boost the confidence of the masses on the governor include, the 750 hectares of land, which the state government acquired to be distributed to youths and women for commercial agriculture with special start-off grant. Ugwuanyi’s emergence as PDP’s flag bearer in the state for the 2019 governorship polls, can correctly be adjudged as the resounding voice and undying wishes of the Enugu people. Even the deputy Senate President, Dr Ike Ekwerenmadu, like many other notable leaders of the state, could not hide his admiration for this amiable governor, after seeing the peaceful manner in which the delegates unanimously queued behind their performing chief servant, to persuade him to contest and consolidate on his sterling achievements.
To assert that Ugwuanyi’s re-election as governor is a walk over, irrespective of the opposition from other parties in the state, is not wishful thinking, but an affirmation that has a divine backing. The people of Enugu have seen a messiah in the person of Gburugburu, they have also seen a glimpse of the glory in the Promised Land he is leading them to, and no barrier can stop this type of formidable force. It therefore won’t be politically incorrect to advise that every well-meaning citizen of Enugu State, irrespective of political affiliation, should rally round the winning team with Ugwuanyi as the captain.
Chinedu writes from Enugu