Those who subscribe to the sage that ‘water is life’ could not have been farther from the truth. Essentially, water remains the lubricant upon which the engine of life runs. Without water, plants and animals are doomed. Humans and animals may endure hunger but not water. It is in the light of the indispensable nature of water that the cries and hues about the acute shortage of water (life basic needs) in the Enugu metropolis and environs by the citizens can be rightly appreciated. From Independence lay-out, New haven, Abakpa Nike and several other urban centres and suburbs, the agitation and scramble for water that was not readily available or accessible took its toll on the good people of Ndi Enugu. In the age of instant global communication, the internet was broken with footages and sights of forlorn looking citizens with water kegs either queueing up to fetch water from the only accessible facility or roaming in search of yet another. In the ensuing crisis, citizens began and rightly so to question or doubt the governance mode of Rt. Honourable Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the Executive Governor. Is Ugwuanyi known variously as Gburu-Gburu, Mr. Fulfilment, Mr. Project etc still on the throne of the state? Is Enugu state truly in the hands of God or has God abandoned his people? They seem to be asking all these to no in particular. Are the citizens actually justified in their unbelief and frustrations? Sure! But what are the fundamentals of good governance?
Almost everyone would subscribe to the fact that the most important factor that defines a responsible government is its approach and commitment to the welfare and socio-economic well-being to the people. Another scholarship has also outlined 8 basic characteristics of good governance to include… ‘It is participatory, consensus-oriented, it should be accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive and follows the rule of law.24 Feb 2020
It is therefore pertinent to appreciate how governor Ugwuanyi has faired through these principles. The current water crisis that has engulfed the greater part of Enugu and environs left a sure window to project Gov. Ugwuanyi as a humane and a responsive leader. While acknowledging the crisis, Gov. Ugwuanyi has through his media aide Louis Amoke appealed for calm of the citizens while assuring them of government’s far reaching interventions to bring normalcy to the unfortunate crisis. I need mention here that Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi seem to be stewed in the basic principles of crisis communication. By acknowledging a problem, a leader is assumed to have won the better hearts of the stakeholders directly impacted by acts of commission or omission of an entity or state. Then communicating strategies for alleviating the effects and actually rolling up the sleeves to actuate the tactics is deemed a greater service and an uncommon response.
The Ugwuanyi we know is a man of few words. He is the kind of man who prefers sweating in the background and only allowing the results of his efforts to manifest in the fullness of time without much ado. After all, he is the one who presented himself to govern the people and the people rightly sent him. So while the citizens pushed and cried out for water, Ugwuanyi responded swiftly and activated all necessary governance mode which might have been encumbered by acts of omission. The Ugwuanyi we know courts professionals and know their valued impact in nation building. Realizing the negative image the water crisis would have had on his government, he painstakingly pushed to seek out a thorough bred professional who will bring his wide experience to bear on the water sector and ensure that never again will Ndi Enugu suffer in want of water.
It is hoped that with the appointment of Engr. Onyeka Martins Okwor by Gov. Ugwuanyi as the new Managing Director of the State Water Corporation following a rigorous interview that had other 16 contenders for the job and with effect from Tuesday, March 9, 2021, the perennial water shortages in the coal city state will be a thing of the past.
Is there any one out there still insisting that Ugwuanyi had abdicated his governance mode. May God forbid! We can all be assured that our state is still in the hands of God and forever.
BIBIAN ANEKWE NEWS ADDED ” THE PESSIMIST COMPLAINS ABOUT THE WIND. THE OPTIMIST EXPECTS IT TO CHANGE. THE LEADER ADJUSTS THE SAILS” GOV. UGWUANYI IS A TRUE LEADER
Austin Okechukwu Chijioke
Public Relations Practitioner.
Member, Enugu di n’aka Chukwu movement.