There is no doubt the fact that Ndigbo of the South East Political Zone are currently in dire need of a credible group political leader capable of wearing the big shoes of the revered icons like the Rt Hon Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Dr Michael Okpara, Dr Alex Ekwueme, Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu, to name but these few.
The call for a centrally recognized Igbo leader has become more imperative now than ever before due to some serious political leadership vacuum and lack of unity among our so called political leaders representing us in various organs of governments; a clear evidence that has continued to manifest itself until it played out among the South East Governors who were conspicuously missing in action during the Southern Governors Summit especially at the last one held in Enugu State recently.
The type of central Igbo leader of our dream will be such that can be a unifying personality to serve as a rallying figure for the people of the Zone and a model for the teeming youths as well as the upcoming politicians. Such charismatic and inspirational leader of our dream is expected to possess most of but not limited to the underlying leadership attributes: commitment to the cause of the Igbo nation; youthful, educated, energetic and healthy enough to shoulder the enormous responsibilities of a people yearning for political emancipation; and one who should not indulge in frequent overseas trips for medical treatments at the expense of the taxpayers money.
Our dream South East Zonal Central Leader should be an embodiment of love for humanity, compassionate for the suffering masses, respect for God and the Rule of Law, and an epitome of sincerity, selflessness, security consciousness, discretion, self discipline, trustworthiness and transparency. He should be a leader ready to synergize with the Ohaneze Ndigbo as well as other credible groups in the country, to harness and leverage on their vast experiences and wisdoms, and one willing and capable of returning the Igbos to their enviable positions in the country by restoring the peoples strong solidarity, faith, confidence, trust, hope and belief in One United and Indivisible Nigeria.
Admittedly, it remains largely an impossible venture for a single personality to meet all the aforementioned leadership attributes and qualities. But for keen watchers of political players in the country and the south east in particular, Rt. Honorable Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the current governor of Enugu state remain unarguably and comes away as one who fitted about 80% of the aforementioned qualities. Though as gentle as a lamb, the man in the Lion Building Enugu is as courageous as a lion that he depicts and even wiser than the serpent when he has put his mind to achieve the desired goals and objectives in the overall interests of the people.
Management experts have told us that the reward for hard work is more work. Since Dr Ugwuanyi has worked hard and adequately delivered rich dividends of democracy to the expectations of the people of Enugu State in his capacity as the State Governor, he should be rewarded with some higher tasking positions in Igbo land and Nigeria.
Among the achievements of the Governor, which are too numerous to mention, I will use one of the biggest challenges confronting the nation today, which is insecurity, to xray the typical leadership sagacity and capacity of Governor Ugwuanyi. Many Nigerians rightly describe Enugu State as most peaceful and a place of tranquility and harmony. We all know that this status symbol could not be as a result of chance factor. It is the result of the efforts of Governor Ugwuanyi as a man of peace who believes in peaceful dialogue and application of alternative conflict resolutions to issues. He had demonstrated unequalled maturity in his actions during the nationwide end SARS protests. For the love of the people, the Governor while recalling the unfortunate incident which took the lives of dear citizens during his first term in office at Nimbo in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area as a result of the farmers /herders conflict promptly signed the Anti Open Grazing Act into law without hesitation, and was physically present in all the Southern Governors Meetings without sending his Deputy to represent him, as was the case with his S/E counterparts.
This is one leader that places the interests and welfare of his people above his own, and is always eager to find solutions and succour for the challenges occasioned by insecurity and criminality that threaten the very foundation and the corporate existence of the nation. Consequently, Ugwuanyi
took several measures to forestall further invasions in the State by the herdsmen and unknown gunmen. In his character of standing with his people in times of difficulties, Governor Ugwuanyi had cut short his official engagements outside the State to personally access the unfortunate incident caused by the use of adulterated petroleum products in Igbo Etiti and Nsukka Local Government Areas to commiserate with the victims of the disaster. Further, the Governor had approved money for the registered Vigilante Groups across the rural communities in the State and for procurement of security apparatus as well as their remunerations. The Governor evacuated the Unijos Students of Enugu State origin during the crisis that led to the closure of the institution before others followed.
Governor Ugwuanyi recently received a pass mark from Ohaneze Ndigbo who described him as an “uncommon and extraordinary personality that unites Enugu State among all divides, having enthroned a peaceful place for business to thrive in the State”. The apex body of Ndigbo, whose statement was made public by its General Secretary, Nazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, had praised Governor Ugwuanyi for “introducing youths into his administration thereby making Enugu State a breeding ground for grooming of the prospective Igbo leaders in the South East”.
With this landmark endorsement from the apex Igbo socio-cultural body, it is just apt that the Rt Hon Dr Ifeanyichukwu Lawrence Ugwuanyi should be elevated and also accorded recognition as the central Igbo political leader and mandated to salvage the depleted morale of Ndigbo by returning them once again to their prime position in Nigeria. As we yearn for the coveted seat of the Presidency, let us know that Igbos alone cannot single handedly make this dream come true. We must extend our hands of friendship to partner with other Regions and ethnic nationalities in Nigeria to achieve this objective.
The man with the right capacity to do this is, undoubtedly Dr Ugwuanyi because of his peaceful and gentle dispositions, patience, maturity and team spirit. He is a detribalized Nigerian who enjoys the acceptance of the people within and outside Enugu State. Ugwuanyi strongly believes in unity, peace, justice, equity and fairness, hence his recent appointment as the Chairman PDP National Zoning Committee. The reward for hard work is more work.
Bibian Anekwe News added – Managers light a fire under people; leaders light a fire in people.”” .
OBODO COLLINS OKOLO
Deputy Corps Commander retired.
Media Team Member of ENUGU DI N’AKACHUKWU MOVEMENT