Visibly excited non-Igbo residents in Enugu State, representing different ethnic communities of diverse socio-cultural, political and religious background across the country, under the auspices of United Inter-Community Forum, on Wednesday, converged on the Government House, Enugu, in their large numbers and unanimously endorsed Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for a second term in office.
The jubilant non-indigenes, who disclosed that the forum’s prime objective was to foster unity in diversity to promote good governance through leadership integrity and commitment to excellence, stated that the decision was because of the governor’s “selfless, resounding, impeccable, excellent and outstanding leadership qualities,” which they said have engendered peace and good governance in the state.
They added that Mr Ugwuanyi has maintained a “high degree of disciplined leadership integrity” that promotes peaceful co-existence and national unity.
Noting that “this is the first time in history, United Inter-Community Forum was coming out publicly to support a serving governor”, the forum, which announced Mr Ugwuanyi as its grand patron, disclosed that his administration has made frantic efforts in securing lives and property of the people of the state “as well as the various communities resident in Enugu State.”
Presenting their heartfelt stance, the President General of the forum, Andrew Tyonongo, said they were highly impressed that Enugu is being rated as one of the most peaceful and secure states in the country, adding that the governor’s introduction and equipping of Enugu State Security/Neighbourhood Watch groups, in collaboration with the security agencies, have gone a long way to ameliorate extreme security challenges in the state.
On education, the group expressed delight at the governor’s “excellent commitment, dedication and efforts in the area” through his “pragmatic policy of massive mobilization, renovation and rehabilitation of public primary, secondary and tertiary schools across the state, making them convenient, safe and friendly for learning.”
They told the governor that his “innovations in this sector particularly, have brought life into public educational system in Enugu State, consequently redeeming and regaining its pride of place in the educational system.”
The forum also commended Mr Ugwuanyi for his administration’s special attention in the provision of basic infrastructure, especially in the rural areas, pointing out that the policy framework of the “one community, one project programme with multi-million naira mobilisation” has made all the communities in the state chief drivers of infrastructural developments based on their priorities.
The non-igbo residents maintained that their endorsement of the governor’s re-election was also based on his commitment to the welfare of the state’s workers, particularly the regular payment of their salaries and retirees’ pensions.
They further stated that Mr Ugwuanyi is “the only governor who pays workers the 13th month salary”, disclosing that “Enugu State workers are happy and proud of you because salaries and pensions are paid when due.”
The body equally applauded Mr Ugwuanyi for the various empowerment schemes of his administration aimed at alleviating the sufferings of the masses, especially the traders, youths and underprivileged, revealing that through his human resource development and capacity building initiatives, 2000 youths were gainfully employed to clean up the state.
“Your Excellency, conscious of your broad-minded stewardship and leadership capacities as clearly acknowledged above and many too numerous to mention because of constraint of time, the entire body of United Inter-Community Forum, Enugu State Chapter, is here to give her support to you and also to advocate, mobilize, consult and intensify campaigns for your continuity as the best option in the forthcoming gubernatorial election come 2019.
“This forum is very much aware of your esteemed love and respect for traditional and religious institutions, as well as your constant intervention and advocacy for peaceful co-existence among communities in the state”, they further stated.
Responding, Governor Ugwuanyi, who welcomed members of the forum to the Government House, thanked them for their solidarity, goodwill, support, and the endorsement, noting that the honour shows that the efforts of his administration to improve the living standard of the people are being appreciated.
He therefore, reassured them of his administration’s commitment to the well-being of every resident of the state, irrespective of state of origin, religion or ethnicity.