He is not given to frivolities. He is focused, humble and amiable. Enugu State governor, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi can be called the stabilizer in view of his unquenchable appetite to make peace the fulcrum of his administration.
Before he took over from his predecessor, Barrister Silvan Chime, it was almost a state creed for incumbent governors to go against their predecessors. For instance, former governor Chimaraoke Nnamani went after Senator Jim Nwobodo, the man who recommended him and who also served as the governor of old Anambra State. Even Chime and Nnamani eventually fought each other to standstill and automatically became estranged.
However, Ugwuanyi has put an end to this ugly development. But this is the basic concern here.
Recently, Ugwuanyi played host to the present and former PDP members of national assembly. Although the essence of the meeting was not really made public, the import and its meaning may not be far from Ugwuanyi’s idea of keeping the umbrella party together following Governor Dave Umahi’s exit.
After Umahi’s exit, there has been strong indication that more PDP governors from the South East might still quit the major opposition party for the ruling party, APC. In order to forestall the fulfillment of that prediction, an Ugwuanyi who is a visionary leader and political think tank, reasoned that there was every need to bring the mainstream PDP, especially those who have served or serving at the national assembly.
Remarkably, the meeting was attended. It attracted all concerned PDP members across the country to Enugu. This is the hallmark of a true democrat who believes in party supremacy and who appreciates the fact that for a political party to move forward, its members must be kept within the limits of the party’s frame work. As it is, the Enugu meeting has once more given the PDP a livewire. This has made Ugwuanyi the stabilizer in chief of the PDP, at least, for now.
It was this same spirit that also buoyed Ugwuanyi to bring together the collapsed and decayed Ebeano political machinery in Enugu State. The Ebeano political structure was the spring board that actually sky rocked virtually all PDP candidates to various electoral successes in the Coal City State. But due personal interests than group interests, the structure went obscure and obsolete. Not quite long ago, Ugwuanyi revitalized Ebeano, thereby strengthening the group for further gains.
About his desk as the chief executive officer of the state, Ugwuanyi has been outstanding in his performance. According to a published report; Ugwuanyi has kept to his vision to “deploy government services to create fair and equal opportunity for every willing citizen to make a living and create wealth, educate our children, and enjoy life in a peaceful and secure environment”.
Five years down the line, Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration has vigorously and religiously pursued this lofty vision, closing the urban-rural imbalance in the distribution of basic amenities. Consequently, his administration has constructed and rehabilitated over 600 kilometres of road across the state, mostly in the rural areas. Gov. Ugwuanyi has ensured an enduring peace in the state, a cherished feat that has made it possible for the state’s political leaders to unite and forge a common force for progress and rapid development. One is therefore proud to say that peace is now synonymous with Enugu State.
As the long-neglected communities in Enugu State are appreciating the people’s governor for remembering them with one development project or another, the state workers are singing praises and dancing on the streets of Enugu, also in appreciation of the governor’s exceptional love and commitment to their welfare and for the existing cordial government-labour relationship. The most recent experience was the workers’ “Thank-you” visit to Ugwuanyi for being the first governor of the state, since the inception of democracy in 1999, to pay them the minimum wage without rancour.
Despite Ugwuanyi’s good run so far, there are still those who believe that the governor, like most of his other South East governors, is a stooge of the northern oligarchy. Some people wonder why Ugwuanyi should not speak up in the height of the herders’ invasion Nzukka in 2015/16. Even now, Ugwuamyi and his fellow Igbo governors have yet to condemn the marginalization of Ndigbo by the ruling northern class.