The Igbo culture presents a perfect example of the intricacies of naming or reasons behind giving one a name. Sure, we must have heard people bear interesting sobriquets aside the names given to them by their parents. These aliases are given based on observable character traits of the concerned individual. More quite often, people pick up these sobriquets based on mirror image or what they feel they represent. These self aliases are quite popular among the youths or students. Most of these monikers remain largely self serving and vain glorious.
It is not equally uncommon among the adults with a measure of self worth to pick up aliases as well by themselves. The lesson to be drawn here is that most individuals who give themselves aliases such as the most common ones among the Igbos “Onwa” (the light of the people), “Ojide onye ibe” (One who dispenses welfare without reservations) etc are done for self vain glory and ego boosting. A critical inquiry into the lives of these individuals with these interesting monikers will reveal this much. When admirers set out to give an individual a befitting sobriquet based on observable traits and out of genuiness of feelings, the difference is always clear.
I may not have known when the current governor of Enugu state, His Excellency, Rt Hon. Ifeanyi Lawrence Ugwuanyi was given the name, Gburu-Gburu, but time and space has proven that the moniker is so befitting of the bearer. We may also have to argue that governor Ugwuanyi is enjoying all the spotlight today because he is the Governor. As the Chief Executive Officer, he has the power to do and undo. He has the resources to dispense as he so wished. I’m equally inclined to believe that the sobriquet “Gburu-Gburu” either given by the governor’s fans or self taken is a measure of his large heart to belong to all and to no body in particular.
No one should be in doubt that after six years as the helmsman of Enugu State, Gov. Ugwuanyi has demonstrated enough sparkle to convince Ndi Enugu and his admirers that his sobriquet “Gburu-Gburu” was rightly earned and not just a showy stuff. Let’s agree that as a leader of the government of a state, he has all the resources at his beck and call. But one would never fail to point out that a leader’s inherent life’s philosophy would largely determine his visage, vision and the likelihood of it being cascaded for the benefit of the entire people, not just those who have connections or close allies.
We have often watched with trepidation, the rate at which Governor Ugwuanyi was throttling on the developmental plains despite the lean resources at the disposal of his government, but we are yet to fully appreciate his welfarist approach to citizens encumbered in any manner using same lean government purse. But who would be able to go this far, if he or she is not well grounded in prudent management of scarce resources.
It is often heart wrenching to encounter mishaps or misfortunes at any time, but it is often more gracious to have a leader who can quickly come to the aid of victims of misfortunes in order to ameliorate their level of sufferings. Governor Ugwuanyi has shown enough grace in this regard. One at this juncture may be unable to recount the number of times the Governor had hastened towards the amelioration of citizens misfortunes because most of them remained unreported.
Let’s recall that when some citizens were felled by the bullets of a misguided police officer, the governor was on hand to bear the cost of the medical expenses of the surviving victims and compensated the families of the deceased.
When some police officers were gruesomely murdered by the popular unknown gun men while on legal duty in one part of Enugu, the governor promptly mobilized resources to assist the families of the deceased cops while offering automatic employment and scholarship to the wives and first children of the affected victims. The 3 months salaries of the deceased cops who were not in the employ of the state government was paid also.
Ugwuanyi’s administration also undertook to take over the
medical treatment of one Miss Amarachi Okoro, a 2nd year student of University of Nigeria, Nsukka in not too distant past. Miss Amarachi Okoro was diagnosed with Melanoma (a type of skin cancer) and the government graciously accepted to take over the burden of her medical treatment and bills.
Just recently, one very sad news filtered out that a family of five residing at Umuchigbo Iji Nike in Enugu East Council Area met their untimely death after eating a meal suspected to be poisoned with the exception of their nine month baby who survived the incident. Amply touched by the unfortunate death of the late Mr and Mrs Lawrence Chukwu and two others in their household, Gov. Ugwuanyi has promised full responsibility of the welfare of the only surviving child of the deceased family named Chidiuto to ensure that the child does not suffer in any form.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is a true Apostle of his moniker “Gburu-Gburu” literally translated to mean all rounder or one who believes in the principles of egalitarianism.
So when next, you shout Gburu-Gburu, be convinced that the bearer is not suffering from some kind of vain glorious epithet.
Bibian Anekwe News added – “Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes” .
Austin Okechukwu Chijioke.
Public Affairs Commentator.
Media Team Member of ENUGU DI N’AKACHUKWU MOVEMENT