Thursday, 27 April 2017

Ike Onah: Kenneth Okonkwo and the zenith of ingratitude

Enugu State is the heart of Eastern Nigeria. It is home for Ndigbo and also serves as economic hub for the oriental entrepreneurs. This is why the election of who becomes the Governor of the state is usually
discussed by the major stakeholders (Public Servants, Professionals, youths, women & community leaders.
This tradition did not stop before the election of His Excellency Governor Ifeanyi Ugwanyi in May 29, 2015. Governor Ugwuanyi’s emergence as the candidate of his party, Peoples Democratic Party was a decision of ninety seven percent of all the people living in Enugu State.
His Excellency, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is the first Governor to receive support from all and sundry in Enugu State and beyond. This informed the then Acting National Chairman of PDP Alhaji Mu’azu in one of the zonal rallies held in Enugu to echo that in his political career, he has not seen any politician or candidate of a political party receive the kind of support that he witnessed in Enugu for Governor Ugwuanyi.
He further said that Ugwanyi was God sent and his achievements as Governor will surpass any Governor ever in Eastern Nigeria. Mu’azu is not a Prophet but spoke the mind God. It is not outside the track to pick the name gburugburu because he is a darling to Ndi Enugu.
While speaking on the day of his inauguration as the executive Governor of Enugu State, he underlined that his mission amongst many is to reposition Enugu state as economic hub of eastern Nigeria which the state maintained in the days of coal Boom.
He also promised the mammoth crowd at Okpara Square that the three senatorial zones in Enugu State shall witness massive Road construction, rural electrification, Massive youth & woman empowerment through acquisition of contemporary skills and massive re-equipping of all the hospitals across the state.
Governor Ugwuanyi has not failed in actualizing all these projects but has also doubled the budgetary allocations to such projects. This is sequel to his proclivity for quality of life. This extra budgetary allocation for projects being witnessed in a country where many states could not pay salaries of workers let alone embark on simple projects like construction of drainages has endeared Governor Ugwuanyi to the people of Ndi Enugu.
Certainly, the gods do not make mistake when it comes to choosing a leader for his people. Enugu State is truly in the hands of God. Workers in Enugu state today smile home with their salaries before the tail of every month despite the financial challenge facing many states in the country.
Even when some oil producing states struggle to pay half salaries, Enugu the Eagle of the East, pay its workers as at when due. While so many elder statesmen collapse waiting endlessly for their pensions in some other state, in Enugu, pensioners smile home with their money. It was not an error for National Assembly to include Enugu State as one of the three states in the federation that utilized the bailout fund from the federal Government. They praised the Government of Enugu State for the optimum use of the fund for the benefit of the people.
To ensure his mission of opening up the Local Government Areas for massive economic activities, Gov Ugwuanyi recently flagged off the construction of rural roads in the various local councils. Water projects, bridges, equipping of hospitals and construction of classroom blocks was given top priority in the last one year and ten months in Enugu Sate.
Even as transforming the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT) Enugu to a degree awarding institution became a rocket science to past administrations in Enugu State, Governor Ugwuanyi in less than two years in Office statutorily made the Institute of Management and Technology Enugu a degree awarding institution.
Today, with the evidence of developmental projects already actualized, one would think the Executive Governor of Enugu State, His Excellency, Rt., Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi had spent eight years already in office. But it is just one year and few months in the lion building and Enugu is already wearing a new look. Sticking to his social contract with Ndi Enugu, Governor Ugwuanyi with his humdinger and second-to-non quality driven Governance, has redefined the meaning of Governance in sub-Saharan Africa.
A man who speaks with utmost humility and candor, a man that is a true testimony of Democracy, a man that feels the pains of people in sorrow cannot be associated with dirty and primordial politics. This is why it is amazing and instance of ingratitude for Mr. Kenneth Okonkwo popularly known as Andy, to rise from cocoon of ingloriousity, Plato’s cave and debasement to insult the sensibility of good people Nsukka and entire Enugu State through his misguided and distracting letter to the Governor of Enugu State.
It is obvious that Mr. Okonkwo was not speaking on behalf of “Nsukka Asadu Ideke Alumouna” people nor the entire NdiEnugu, who massively voted for Governor Ugwuanyi and who also are thankful to the Governor for great face-lifting and unquantifiable projects he is executing in various parts of the state. Governor Ugwuanyi being a true son of Enugu state and a leader that places the quality of life of the people under his administration at the front burner, did not corner the modern drainage system, RCC constructed along Enugu road in Nsukka to Orba his home town. Virtually all the major road projects in Enugu-North senatorial zone are being executed in Nsukka town. Governor Ugwuanyi in assumption of office promised to uplift the status of Nsukka which is the second major city in Enugu state and other parts of the State to a desideratum.
Shortly after his assumption of office, in his usual democratic manner, he called a meeting of the major stakeholders in Enugu state, which was held at the Old Government Lodge, Enugu during which the stakeholders, unanimously approved all his massive and quality plans for the development of the state especially with regards to significant infrastructure and provision of crucial amenities and opening up areas like Nsukka and 9th Mile Corner in Ngwo for economic advancement.
He has not reversed this social contract but earnestly ensuring with eagerness to making Nsukka, the famous University town and 9th Mile Corner in Ngwo another economic destination in Enugu State. His predecessor ensured that Enugu the State capital was structured to retain its position as the capital of the East. Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi in accordance with his maintenance policy is also ensuing through his quality driven maintenance culture that life in Enugu urban is safe and hazard free. He does this by proper road maintenance, quality security network, constant water supply and provision of needful amenities in the capital city. As advancement to extant developmental drive, Governor Ugwuanyi is currently decongesting the capital city through his open- up the rural areas campaign.
It is therefore an abuse of cordiality, abuse of humility and abuse of openness for Mr. Okonkwo to tag the people’s Governor as biased, sectional, heartless, corrupt and unproductive person. Governor Ugwuanyi was not bias, sectional, heartless, corrupt and unproductive when Mr. Okonkwo and his cohorts campaigned for him and voted for him. Governor Ugwuanyi was not heartless when Mr. Okonkwo was shedding tears the same manner he did in the Movie known as Taboo, begging people to vote for him (Okonkwo) and Governor Ugwuanyi.
Of course, contesting for an election is for some persons a bargain power for political appointment and contracts and not necessarily to win an election. Mr. Okonkwo falls in this category. He came into politics in 2015 not necessarily to win the election but to upload himself for possible political appointment after the election.
Unfortunately Mr. Okonkwo did not win the primary election to contest for House of Representative position to represent Nsukka/Igbo-Eze South Federal Constituency. He felt that having contested primary election, he had automatically become a stakeholder in the party and as well possible government contractor if the party wins election.
These hopes and wishful desires of a baby politician and a shylock never saw the light of the day. Hence, the quick switch over to another party where he thinks he can take lead in casting aspersion on the incumbent Governor of Enugu State. Mr. Okonkwo known for eclecticism has the proclivity to jumping from pillar to pole. First, he jumped from Catholic to CPM where he plotted to become the General Overseer so as to inherit the wealth of the founder by marrying his only daughter; jumped from first marriage to second marriage; jumped from PDP to APC and now Jumped from corporate gentleman to Street-Stone Thrower.
It’s also amazing and sucks that Mr. Okonkwo as a trained Lawyer and presumed lover of his people remained in cancerous slumber while the workers in his Local Government Area work month after month without salaries, when life was brutish and living not a desideratum in his home town; when people were being butchered day and night in Nsukka, when Oriokpa became a terror in his domain and even recently almost terminated the life of a young harmless Seminarian; when the roads in Nsukka town were death traps ; when maternal mortality rate in Nsukka was so high due to unbearable hardship being faced by Local Government workers and when mediocre run the affairs of his area.
It is recently astonishing that Mr. Okonkwo could not cover his face in shame over the current economic situation in the country but to queue behind the abysmal style of his paymasters by digressing the attention of the people from the ill-governance and retrogressive policies being championed by his new political ”bride”.
As a young man still filled with energy, I advice Mr. Okonkwo to learn from the mistakes of his predecessors in the same academy of disgruntlement and channel his vision and stamina to more epistemic literature that would generate knowledge production for enhancement of life in his area rather than singing outside the choir.
One good turn deserves another; hence Governor Ugwuanyi’s administration deserves thanks from Okonkwo. The good aspect of it is that Mr. Okonkwo is alone in this journey of ingratitude because the good people of Nsukka and Ndi Enugu per se are thankful to His Excellency Governor Ifeanyi.
Ugwuanyi who has shown really that Enugu under his watch is in the hands of God. The joy of the people of Nsukka could not wait to be defined, hence they organised grand reception for His Excellency Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi at Nsukka recently in appreciation of his numerous developmental projects in Nsukka town and in other parts of the State despite the dwindling revenue accruing to the State.
Ike Onah is from the PDP Enugu State Media Desk

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