…Seeks monument’s rightful place in world history
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, on Saturday, inaugurated the Unity Park, Enugu, which was newly developed by his administration for public use as a tourist attraction and a place for relaxation.
The development was in line with Gov. Ugwuanyi administration’s urban renewal drive.
Inaugurating the park amid jubilation by residents and tourists, Gov. Ugwuanyi said that the project offers “the good people of Enugu State an opportunity to relive the past when the City urbanization had not obliterated our Recreation Areas”.
The governor said that his administration through the development of the Unity Park located adjacent to the popular Michael Okpara Square, Independence Layout, Enugu, responded to a yawning gap in the lifestyle of the Coal City.
He disclosed that the park has a reinforced concrete pedestrian walkway measuring about 1.9 kilometers, monumental concrete roaring lion sculpture measuring 42 feet high, 72 feet long and 24 feet wide aired-conditioned spacious interior that seats about fifty (50) persons, and a large water pond deep enough to offer the hydrodynamics for boat riding, among other interesting features.
Noting that it was widely believed that the sculpture of a giant roaring lion at the park currently interrogates existing world records on lion sculpture, Gov. Ugwuanyi revealed that his administration has applied to World Records Organizations “to review this and allocate to us our rightly place in world history”.
He pointed out that “the serene ambience of the Unity Park is like no other and conduces to relaxation, deep reflection and critical thinking” while “the background tranquilizing songs of birds that visit the water pond to quench their thirst will lift your mood”.
Gov. Ugwuanyi therefore assured the public that his administration will ensure that measures are emplaced to guarantee adequate maintenance and cleanliness of the park as well as security of the visitors to the tourist attraction.
“The Enugu City Urbanization trajectory transcended population concentration, changes in behavioral patterns, replacement of natural environment with artificial structures and increasing complexity in the functions of the area.
“This challenged ecosystem and biodiversity of this emerging urban centre. The early colliery activities, growth in population and other commercial activities put pressure on land and housing in the city.
“The Coal City further grew rapidly due to its strategic role as regional and state capital as well as its status as a preferred location for peaceful living, business and investment.
“The efforts by successive administrations to increase the housing stock in the city led to the de-zoning of most of the residual Open Spaces/Green Spaces and Recreation Areas. The tourism potential of the Coal City was sub-optimized, its ambience challenged, and the residents yearned for a new paradigm.
“Our administration responded to this yawning gap in the Coal City lifestyle by approving the development of the Unity Park, Enugu, in October 2019 at this location”, Gov. Ugwuanyi said.
Earlier in his welcome address, the State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Hon. Ugonna Ibe, commended Gov. Ugwuanyi for the landmark feat in enhancing Enugu State’s status in local and international tourism.
According to him, “after the demise of the Zoological Garden and Polo Park, the state lacked a recreational park to satisfy the ever unquenching relaxational needs of both local and international tourists that visit Enugu City in large number”.
Hon. Ibe maintained that the newly developed park will assist the state government in attracting tourists, diversifying her economic base and creating job for the teeming youth.
One of the major climaxes of the event was a special prayer session by school children for God’s blessings, progress and protection upon the governor, Enugu State and the people of the state.