By Francis Igata, Enugu
Rumour peddlers in Enugu have been talking about alleged standoff between Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and his predecessor,Sullivan Chime, following a motion adopted by the state House of Assembly to probe the Internally Generated Revenue,IGR,generated between 2008 and June 2015.
The rumour peddlers are also quick to cite the move by the House to revoke park concessions entered into by the Chime administration as a pointer to the bilious relationship building up between Ugwuanyi and Chime.
They claimed that the House, under Ugwuanyi’s control,has embarked on a probe that will re-enact the perennial transitional crisis that bedeviled the state,denying the people of the development they yearn for.
Successive administrations, since the advent of the Fourth Republic, in Enugu, have seen the incumbent governor battling his successor. Chime, who was picked from a pool of popular contenders by former Governor Chimaroke Nnamani,gave Nnamani the roughest end of the stick even before he took oath of office on May 29,2007.
There have been reports that Nnamani got what he sowed following the frosty relationship which broke out between him and former Governor of old Anambra State,Chief Jim Nwobodo,whom they suggested, played a pivotal role in Nnamani’s emergence as governor.
Consequently, political observers in the state were against transitional schism in the state. Meanwhile, Ugwuanyi, adopted a peaceful stance from the old order.
A peep into the Enugu administration indicated that the governor is aware that, apart from the resources of the people, which would be deployed to digging political trenches from where major offensives would be launched to perceived enemies, the atmosphere would be belching blood which cannot make room for development.
Under such scenario,the people will be at the receiving end while the power brokers, who recruit professional mudslingers, smile to the banks and enlarge their coast.
Again,the harbingers of crisis allude to the court case on the PDP primary election between Ugwuanyi and Senator Ayogu Eze,as responsible for the governor’s peaceful disposition. Every discerning political observer in Enugu State will not touch Ayogu’s candidacy with a 10 meter pole following what is alleged to be his poor performance as Senate Committee Chairman on Works which did not complete a single project in the state.
Also,the Caretaker Committees put in place by Ugwuanyi at the LGAs had the enabling legislation backing their inauguration even as the governor had, during an enlarged stakeholders meeting at the old Government Lodge, explained that money for LGA elections was not captured in the 2016 budget,hence,the need for the Caretaker Committees to continue till the end of this year when funds will captured in the 2017 budget.
The explanation received the nod of stakeholders in Enugu who gave approval for the Caretaker Committees.
Ugwuanyi’s determination to better the lot of the people propelled him to operate an all- inclusive government where everybody would contribute to the development of the state, having adopted “seamless continuity” agenda from his predecessor.
In recognition of the notoriety Enugu has been ascribed to at transition,Ugwuanyi had, in his large heart,embraced almost all the paraphernalia of governance he met on ground to enable him quickly settle down and set out for the business of elevating the standard of living of the people.
Today,the people are witnessing development in all the three senatorial districts which wouldn’t have come in an atmosphere of crisis. For a governor who took over the mantle of leadership at a time when economic recession is biting deep to play to the gallery and identify with any institution capable of capsizing the peaceful ship in the state,will spell doom for his administration.
Information from the Bureau of Statistics shows that Enugu is among the top 10 states in IGR. That feat wouldn’t have been attained in an atmosphere of crisis.
The governor had, while addressing a mammoth crowd at Micheal Okpara Square to mark the silver jubilee of Enugu, reeled out some of the achievements of his administration under a peaceful atmosphere. “Today, Enugu, the state capital, stands as one of the safest cities in Nigeria and a proud member of the elite club of 100 Resilient Cities in the world, the first and only one in Nigeria and one of the only five in Africa. It has also become the hub of the nation’s booming movie industry popularly referred to as “Nollywood”, he said.
“As we celebrate the Silver Jubilee of Enugu State, we must in a special way, remember the courage and sacrifices of the likes of Late Chief Onyeama N’Eke, members of the Enugu Aborigines Improvement Union, the Coal miners and all other fallen heroes who lost their lives in the struggle for justice in the society.
“You will recall that in my inaugural speech of 29th May, 2015, I vowed that, in accordance with the ideals and aspirations of the founding fathers of Enugu State, I would deploy government services to create fair and equal opportunity for every willing citizen to make a living, educate our children, and enjoy life in a peaceful and secure environment while driving with full force, investment promotion, agricultural sector renewal, provision of critical infrastructure, human capital development and skill acquisition. I further pledged among other things, to pursue employment generation, enhanced social services and good governance, rural development, security and justice.
“As we did during the Oganiru Enugu State investment summit held in April this year, I wish to use this occasion to once again declare to the whole world that Enugu State is ready and open for business. We therefore eagerly look forward to welcoming partners in every sphere of business and development and we assure them of all the necessary support and incentives to ensure success in their endeavours as well as the actualization of our aspiration to build a more prosperous and economically secure Enugu State.
“We are laying a new foundation for our children as future leaders through extensive youth development policies and the enactment of relevant laws including the Enugu State Child Rights Act”.