By Louis Amoke
There is no doubt that the indices of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s popularity and acceptance by the people of Enugu State are gathering momentum by the day, with gales of endorsements for his re-election in 2019 from different strata of the society.
For instance, while the members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Enugu West and North Senatorial Districts of the state had unanimously endorsed him for second term because of his unprecedented achievements in just two years in office despite the severe economic challenges in the country, the state’s workers, during a one-day symposium organized by the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), Enugu State Council, passed a vote of confidence in the governor and asked him to “carry go”.
The most recent was the endorsement by the state’s traders under the auspices of Enugu State Amalgamated Market Traders Association (ESAMATA). The traders at a solidarity rally they organized in appreciation of Governor Ugwuanyi’s entrenchment of good governance and initiation of a unique traders’ empowerment programme, also unanimously endorsed his re-election in 2019, saying that he has “performed creditably in just two years in office despite the daunting economic challenges in the country”.
The traders in an extreme display of their appreciation and support, on that fateful day, shut all the markets in the state and mobilized themselves en masse to the venue of the rally to honour the people’s governor. They were full of gratitude to him for good governance and his uncommon empowerment initiatives borne out of his desire to give traders in the state a sense of belonging and bring them closer to the government as the true heroes of democracy.
The outpouring endorsements, which are in recognition of the governor’s people-oriented programmes aimed at impacting positively on the lives of the people, have gone a long way to give credence to the overwhelming support and goodwill he enjoys from the people of the state.
Announcing the decision to shut the markets, the president general of the association, Hon. Temple Ude, in a statement issued earlier, stated that “the plan to shut down the markets to celebrate Gov. Ugwuanyi was a unanimous decision of the traders in the state”.
Hon. Ude added that the rally will be unprecedented in the history of the state as “all the markets in the state will be shut down on Thursday, June 15, 2017 and all roads will lead to Michael Okpara Square, Enugu, where excited traders will converge en masses to appreciate and celebrate our traders-friendly Governor for his support and good governance”.
At the well attended rally, the elated traders immediately Gov. Ugwuanyi arrived the venue, took to their dance steps praising and cheering him to a loud ovation as he walked round with other dignitaries to appreciate and acknowledge the cheers from them.
It was indeed an enduring encounter between “a governor and his people”, as the excitement that exuded from the jubilant crowd was a reality of the governor’s swelling popularity and acceptance.
The rally was also a demonstration of unwavering support, love, goodwill and solidarity as the traders could not hide their enthusiasm for the governor’s good works in the state and his kind thoughts for them, saying that his administration “is most favourable to traders doing business in Enugu State”.
In his address, Hon. Ude stated that the traders are very happy and at home with Gov. Ugwuanyi for his visionary leadership and the empowerment programme initiated by his administration, adding that “the idea was to stimulate the economy of the state as well as alleviate the sufferings of the people”.
Responding, Gov. Ugwuanyi thanked the visibly jubilant traders for the gesture, love, goodwill, solidarity, enthusiasm and support, adding that he feels highly honoured that they shut down the markets in the state to gather in their numbers “to show appreciation for the empowerment scheme that we launched for traders in Enugu State last February”.
From the above narrative, it is glaring that Gov. Ugwuanyi is the man with the hearts of the people of Enugu State who have no regret in overwhelmingly electing him as their governor in 2015.
The onus is therefore, on the people to continue to support and encourage him to render more selfless service to build the Enugu State of the founding fathers’ dreams, because the state is securely in the hands of God.
- Amoke lives in Enugu