As the path for the almighty 2023 general elections is being cleared and the politicians have remained unrelenting in their selfish bid to outdo one another in their own game, much of the discourse in the political space have centered on the positive performances of the political gladiators or the lack of it to warrant being trusted with another political office again. The political gladiators I meant here are not just the incumbent occupiers of political offices, but also prospective ones who might want to ride on the crest of the popularity of the forerunners to access future political positions. Like the sage would say, one good turn will always deserve another. Again, our actions today will always determine people’s reactions towards such actions tomorrow. Most of our politicians are truly mired in self serving adventures in political offices so much so that they believe that can always compromise the electorates any time any day. But time has changed and will truly change for the better. Politicians are coming to the realization that the people are no longer the same piece of meat that they can gobble at will.
Some of them though with genuine concerns for the people they intend to lead have had their fingers burnt up by way of unbridled quest to rubbish whatever they stand for by oppositional elements. For most of these bad politicians, all is fair in war and they can do just anything to poison the minds of the electorates against a perceived good man. In the era of citizen journalism, it is becoming increasingly easier for bad politicians to employ the services of hirelings to spew hate and inanities on their perceived enemy.
The thrust of this discourse therefore is to answer the question posed above and to repudiate the assertion which appeared in a section of the media to the effect that governor Ugwuanyi of Enugu State is “colossal failure”. A certain Daniel Onyebuchi who is being identified as the Enugu State coordinator of Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) had in a recent publication which went viral in a social media described Gov. Ugwuanyi as a colossal failure since he assumed office about seven years ago. When you put the two words together with which Daniel qualified our Governor, the mental picture one gets is that of an abysmal disaster of a leader which is actually a contradiction of the physical picture. While it is the right of every individual both real and imaginary ones in a participatory democracy to express their respective views, it is equally important to draw the attention of all those expressors that politics might be desirable, reducing every known logic to the alter of politics is evil. Is Governor Ugwuanyi a failure or a colossal one at that, I ask again?
Only the objective minded and discerning individual will be able to determine “a shit done in the field and the one flinged into the bush after being done inside a poo”. Ugwuanyi might not have met the expectations of all citizens of the state as a single leader, no one ever does but to ascribe total flop to his seven years reign in the seat of power is to say the least uncharitable. Another sage has declared that the only key to open floodgates of failure to one’s efforts is in trying to please everybody. Yet it is the right of the citizens to feel enamored and satisfied by the performances of their leaders in government, it is equally good to assess our leaders given our peculiar circumstances with objectivity and fairness.
In fairness to Ugwuanyi as the Governor for the last seven years and in comparison to other states especially in the South East region, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has been a “colossal success story”
Aside the relative societal peace in Enugu which is in short supply in other regions, Ugwuanyi has faired better in infrastructural development, SME development through the agility of Hon. Chilo-Offiah, massive investments in education and agricultural ventures. Ugwuanyi might not be able to blow his own trumpets via massive media coverage of his activities in government but it might be important to signpost some of his enduring legacies which might be difficult to erase or surpass by the incoming administration. Till date, even while many might want to argue that there was no even distribution of infrastructure in Enugu, Ugwuanyi has maintained an appreciable impact in infrastructural development across the 17 local government areas of the state.
In the area of educational infrastructures, the state government under Ugwuanyi was able to establish campuses of state Polytechnic at Enugu West and North and another massive education legacy while erecting State University of Medical and Applied Sciences at Igbo-Ano in Enugu North.
Despite glaring and global economic challenges, the governor has been able to manage the meagre resources at the disposal of his government to construct the first Enugu fly over bridge in Abakpa-Nike, another 12km Opi-Nsukka dual carriageway laced with functional street and traffic lights, remodeled the undulating 11km Miliken Hill-Ngwo-9th Mile Road, constructed the 5,000-seat capacity Nsukka Township Stadium; the
State Secretariat Annex, Ede-Oballa, Nsukka with a modern Conference Centre.
Others are the 31km Udenu Ring Road and numerous road projects in the rural areas of the state; the Ebonyi River Bridge, Ikem, Isi-Uzo LGA.
Ugwuanyi also cut massive pies in the judicial sector across the state topping it with the construction of the Enugu State Customary Court of Appeal Headquarters in the heart of the city.
This discourse will remain incomplete if we fail to capture his interventions in the health sector also. The establishment of the Enugu State Infectious Disease Hospital in Enugu; the construction of the Type-3 Healthcare Centres and other health care facilities across the state remain significant and signature infrastructures on their own.
It could not really been gain said that governor Ugwuanyi has set the governance bar high in Enugu and the incoming leaders after him will have to persevere to match his records and performances. While we yet yearn for more from our peaceful Governor even as curtain draws closer on his administration, we most importantly yearn for peace which is a precursor for infrastructural developments anywhere in the society.
Sure, Enugu shall remain in God’s hands.
©Austin Okechukwu Chijioke.
Public Affairs Commentator.
Media Team Lead for Enugu Di N’akachukwu Movement.