The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has extolled the leadership virtues of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, describing him as “an established leader” who is being celebrated widely because of his closeness to the people and effective delivery of dividends of democracy in spite of the nation’s economic challenges.
Mr Dogara, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), added that Mr Ugwuanyi is “a very nice man to a fault”, who “wants to please everybody”, saying that he has “done exceptionally well” in office that members of the National Assembly in particular and the people of Enugu State “are exceedingly proud of what you have achieved.”
The speaker, who spoke during the grand reception for Mr Ugwuanyi by members of the Enugu State National Assembly Caucus, said he was delighted at the governor’s popularity and humility “when I went to Enugu and I saw market women, I saw so many indigenes of that state coming to the Government House, dancing and singing.”
He disclosed that the people he saw were not rented crowds but those who were speaking from the bottom of their hearts, applauding Mr Ugwuanyi for “investing in people”.
According to him, “Gov. Ugwuanyi is such a person that you will never meet in mansions when you go to Enugu. You will meet him among his people and that is where his heart is. And that is where the heart of a leader should be”.
Speaking on Mr Ugwuanyi’s unprecedented achievements in spite of the state’s lean resources, Mr Dogara while recalling the governor’s firm belief in the miracle of “five loaves and two fish” stated that “our brother (Ugwuanyi) who is a true leader is performing beyond expectation with the very little resources that he has”.
“Your Excellency, now that you have done exceptionally well, all the Enugu people are happy and they have decided to endorse you for a second term. When the people of Enugu State say that we are celebrating you, we are appreciating you; it means they are applying for more. So I wish you well. I know that you will continue to distinguish yourself creditably and define leadership in Enugu State,” the speaker added.
In his remark, the Deputy Majority Leader of the Senate, Bala Na’allah, who represented the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, also eulogised Gov. Ugwuanyi for his outstanding leadership qualities, saying that he “is one of the most decent and honest person I have worked closely with”.
He said: “I was with him in the Committee on Marine Transport and then he was with me when I chaired the Committee on Judiciary in the House of Representatives and then we developed a concept on how to deliver on our responsibilities transparently and efficiently.
“So I am not surprised when I hear the positive comments being showered on him in his duty as Governor of Enugu State. It is very rare and lucky to have someone like Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi superintending over the affairs of men more especially in this present day Nigeria.
“So, it is not for nothing that God gave you Ugwuanyi. Your responsibility is to ensure that you continue to sustain the 100 percent support that you have been giving him,” Mr Na’allah noted.
At the event, the Enugu NASS caucus unanimously endorsed Mr Ugwuanyi for a second term in office for his effective leadership and entrenchment of peace and good governance in the state.
The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, on behalf of all the federal lawmakers from Enugu State, said the endorsement was predicated on the governor’s development strides and his leadership style characterized by justice, equity, and peace.
He said: “Governor Ugwuanyi has connected with the people of Enugu State in a very peculiar way. Today, communities have their Liaison Officers, and they execute projects. Everybody is part and parcel of government.
“Since 1999, we usually had crisis, troubles, and major misunderstandings any year preceding general elections. At times, we wondered if we would survive it. It happened in 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, and it happened in 2014. But today, we are in 2018, and Enugu has been adjudged the most peaceful state.
“If you look around here, there are people from the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Enugu, and those from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). That is how we live in Enugu State. There is no discrimination, no division. We have 17 Local Government Areas in Enugu State. None of them is complaining of marginalization.
“There is also freedom in Enugu State. Governor Ugwuanyi does not take offence when people have cause to criticize him. He learns from the criticisms and he dialogues a lot. The judiciary is free and independent, working without fear or favour. That is what democracy is all about.
“Therefore, I have the mandate of the members of the Enugu State caucus at the National Assembly, and I also believe all our people who live in Abuja, to say that on account of the peace you have brought and all the work you have done for the last three years, we have no hesitation whatsoever in endorsing you for one more term in 2019”.
Responding, Mr Ugwuanyi, who appreciated the Enugu caucus of the National Assembly for their show of love and support, noted that the prevailing peace and cooperation between the federal lawmakers and his administration have resulted in numerous constituency projects and Federal Government interventions in the State.
He assured that the years of dichotomy now belonged to the past.
“We have become one people united by the determination to develop our State and we will continue to remain one family. With your support and prayers, I will continue to lead an Enugu State where peace, justice, and equitable development remain the watchword. We will continue to work together to build that same united, prosperous, and great Enugu State envisioned by our fathers”, he added
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