By Ejioffor Alamu
IT is an axiomatic fact that a leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. But most times, the encumberances and challenges associated with leadership often derail leaders. But the ability to overcome such challenges, differentiates a leader from others.
Mounting the saddled as governor of Enugu State, Mr. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi was faced with several challenges enough to weigh any leader down. But he has not allowed the challenges to derail his administration as he has tackled them headlong. This has manifested in his leadership style. Before his emergence as governor, Ugwuanyi has always shown leadership in his various fields of endeavour including when he was in the House of Representatives for 12 years.
No wonder his choice as the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, consensus governorship candidate by the state party stakeholders ahead of the party primaries received overwhelming support and endorsements from the people. Even though a particular aspirant for the coveted seat who felt he has the ears of the powers-that-be then, tried to scuttle his ambition, but majority people of the people and God made it possible. Not because of his wealth or power, but because of his track record which spoke volumes. Ugwuanyi’s victory at the polls was not a surprise to many, considering that all indices ahead of the polls were in his favour.
On assumption of office, many had wanted or expected Ugwuanyi to commence political vendatta against his predecessor, Mr. Sullivan Chime, and other political opponents, especially his co-aspirant and former senator who have refused all entreaties to sheath the sword and embrace Ugwuanyi. But it is now obvious that such political witch-hunt is not in his character. It would be recall that during his electioneering campaign, he neither engaged anybody in a war of words nor cast aspersion against any.
For the months he has been on the saddle, Ugwuanyi’s administration has carried everybody in the state along, irrespective of the party affiliations. His government policies and decisions have been altruistic, humane and eclectic. His open door policy of governance has taken his government to the people at the grassroots. In Enugu today, residents and people do not only see their governor on television or read government policies on newspapers, they are consulted before such policies and programmes are formulated and pronounced.
Daily, with the exception of weekend, which he sometimes jettisoned, Ugwuanyi attends to urgent State matters. It was a promise he made in his inaugural speech and he is keeping to it.
In the areas of human empowerment, workers’ welfare and infrastructural developments, Ugwuanyi’s government has made several remarkable and laudable strides, this is inspite of the dwindling revenue in the country. Determined to fulfill his promise to provide equitable distribution of dividends of democracy in the state and constitute a broad-based committee for developing the entire zones of the state, Ugwuanyi constituted a committee on Enugu State Urban Renewal with Arc. Chris Offor as its chairman. It was after this that the state government awarded contract for the construction of several roads across the state. Such roads that are currently undergoing construction include the ever busy dilapidated Ninth mile Corner Ngwo road, Abakpa Nike and Nike Lake Roads, Opi-Nsukka dual carriage way, Amankwo-Ameke-Amah brewing junction, 9th Mile by-pass, Ohom Oba junction-Imilike Ani-Ezimo Agu- Imilike- Ogbodu Aba- Obollo Etiti- Amalla-Obollo –Afor- Udenu Ring Roads.
Others are Enugu Road-Nsukka- Junction Umuezebi Road, post office -Roundabout- Odenigbo Roundabout, Ogurugu road–Ikenga Hotels Junction and Obechara Road Junction-Umuakashi-mechanic village-Ikenga Hotels Junction. Unlike in the past, the road contracts were awarded to reputable companies.
Before the award of the road contracts, Governor Ugwuanyi commissioned 15km Inter-Town- Connection (ITC) 2.5MVA Injection Sub-Station at Ezi-Nze in Udi Local Government Area that will provide electricity to communities across Udi, Uzo-Uwani and Igbo-Etiti Local Government Areas of the state. His government has also procured vehicles for security agencies; completed the impassable Ogbete Main Market entrance road project, continued the rehabilitation work at Airport Roundabout/ Orie Emene/ St. Patrick’s College/Eke-Obinagu road project.
Also the government has rehabilitated roads in New Haven Mbanefo II, constructed drains, culverts, earthworks, asphalt wearing course at Ugwogo Nike Ikem Road. The governor has laid foundation stone for a 200-bed Ultra Modern Specialist Hospital at Amalla, Orba in Udenu Local Government Area; site and services of Trinity Housing Estate by Enugu State Housing Development Corporation (ENHDC), located along old Airport Road, Enugu.
Also not left out in the scheme of things are the workers in the state. On assumption of office, the governor clear the backlog of salaries and arrears owed workers. Since then his government has not relented in ensuring that workers’ welfare are taken care of as at when due. He has consistently engaged them in dialogue in a bid to carry them along as partners in progress. That was why when some politicians in the state recently tried to pitch the workers against the government through misrepresentation of facts, the workers quickly resisted the plot.
Ugwuanyi’s leadership style is an indication that there are better days ahead for the people of the state. It is also a true manifestation of his readiness to provide good leadership and governance, virtues that are in short supply in the country.
Mr. Alamu, an undergraduate , wrote from Enugu, Enugu State.