By Dennis Agbo
ENUGU- It may not be the first time Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi will be treated to a civic reception in Enugu state, but next Saturday, March 17, programme to host the Governor by the entire communities in Ezeagu local government area is distinct and unique because of the passion the reception has generated.
Ezeagu, a local government with a conglomeration of autonomous communities but homogenous in affinity in a unanimous resolution agreed that Governor Ugwuanyi desires to be encouraged, not only for the works he has been doing in the council area but also across the 17 local government areas of the state.
For the Ezeagu people, Ugwuanyi is like the proverbial akidi bean that the Igbo accuse of knowing no boundary while germinating its seeds. The people however feel that the Governor’s Midas touch in their local government is different in the sense that right from when he was chosen as the Governorship flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Enugu state, he quickly settled to pick his running mate from their area, who today is the first female Deputy Governor from the state. She is Lolo Cecilia Ezeilo from Aguobu Owa, the headquarters of Ezeagu local government council.
As if that was not enough, Governor Ugwuanyi went ahead to pick his Chief of Staff, CoS, from the local government. The position of Chief of Staff is presumed to be a Governor’s closest confidant and top member of any administration’s kitchen cabinet. Dr. Festus Uzor who is Ugwuanyi’s CoS is regarded highly amongst Ezeagu people, having represented the local government in the state House of Assembly between 1999 and 2003, where he also became the speaker of the state legislature and later assumed other positions in the state.
To the Ezeagu people, therefore, Ugwuanyi’s human capital development started in Ezeagu. Little wonder the traditional rulers, the custodians of the people, the town union presidents, the businessmen, the academia, traders, artisans from the entire communities came today to agree to give honour to whom it was due and chose a Professor of Anatomy, the Dean of Faculty of Basic Medicine ESUT college of Medicine, Prof. Chike Anibeze to be the chairman of the civic reception planning committee.
Anibeze in an interview with Saturday vanguard said the March 17 dateline is an appreciation ceremony because of their people’s empowerment and how it has touched their lives.
He said such empowerment translated into infrastructure provisions such as roads that have been done and the ones that are on-going as well as the ones they are anticipating the Governor will further embark upon in the council area.
Anibeze said the expectation of the day would be a Monmouth presence of the kings, the kingmakers, the town unions, Nze ‘n Ozors, the politicians, native men and women, people from all walks of life in the council headquarters at Aguobu-Owa that would express appreciation to the Governor.
Anibeze said “It is community induced, in other words the entire communities came together to give him the reception based on his outreach, especially as it touches the Ezeagu people. Ezeagu has got its fair share in terms of Ugwuanyi’s development programmes and as Oliver Twist, it will not be wrong to ask for more. And knowing Gburugburu very well he will deliver. There are roads under construction; some are in the 2018 budget.
“The Igwes in our communities felt touched by the Governor’s recent grants of N5 million to each community in the state and on that we will tell him what he has done is touching our lives and some areas that still require him to do one or two things.
“I want to invite everybody and at the same time tell everybody to collect their Permanent Voters Cards, PVCs, if you are of voting age, because part of this movement is the Gburugburu project which is like a freedom train and you need that ticket to go in and the ticket is your voter’s card. Clearly, we are endorsing him for a second term and we are not thinking twice about it, whole-heartedly and unanimously we endorse him for a second term.”