The Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, EveryDay News, an online news platform, Mr Petrus Obi has said Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State will be greatly missed by the people after he must have served out his term in office.
Mr Obi spoke in Enugu at a ceremony to mark his birthday which he dedicated to Governor Ugwuanyi.
While describing Governor Ugwuanyi as a friend, Obi said having worked as journalist with several civilian Governors and military administrators in the past, he can attest to the fact that Governor Ugwuanyi is different and surpasses the rest in character.
He said: “So it’s my birthday and I decided to dedicate it to my friend and our friend, His Excellency Lawrence Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi. I’m doing so because I’ve been in this job for a while. I’ve covered more than six governors, including two administrators. And I must tell you that I have not seen somebody better”.
The Publisher maintained Governor Ugwuanyi committed the last seven years of his administration to delivering good governance to the people and is prepared to deliver on his mandate until his day in office.
Obi stated that despite the economic crunch and recession that dogged the Ugwuanyi’s administration, he made a significant impact in all sectors of the state’s economy through prudent management of resources.
“I have not seen a man who brought governance to the doorsteps of the masses. Ugwuanyi has a place in history. I’m saying so because I have covered him for almost eight years. And I know that he came in at the time we are talking about bailout funds. He came out when there was a recession when you had to borrow money when you got bailout funds to pay salaries. Even at that, the man has done well in rural development, massively, which would be commended”.
“I dedicate this birthday to him because this is a man who lost an election and did not complain to anybody. Some people have been lamenting, one governor blamed INEC. Ugwuanyi lost an election and took it in good faith. When he leaves office, Enugu will miss him. Enugu will be missing a man who opens his doors; a man who everybody has his phone number; a man you can call at any time. I’m celebrating humility and celebrating a peaceful man. I’m celebrating an open minded administrator; I am celebrating a man who has written his name in the sands of time.
“I don’t want to compare him with anybody. But I want to tell you that I will blame him because he refused to showcase his many projects in the rural areas. People came and worked in the metropolis. He said no, I want to take it to the rural areas. But he refused to showcase them.
” I covered and I’ve seen. I went through and I saw and that is why I decided to dedicate this birthday to him, and wish him well in further endeavors because this is just a stepping stone. He still has so many things to do for this country and the state. He is the most friendly Governor, everybody knows that.
“The NUJ Press Center, nobody has touched for more than 30 years, over three decades. He has renovated it and put it into shape. We must remember him because he has done well. So I don’t want to join issues with people who do not have the details. I challenge anybody with details to come forward. I took a trip with the Commissioner for Works and I saw infrastructure in rural areas.
“So I feel the governor has done well and deserves a place in history. And that is why I’m dedicating this birthday to him. Ordinarily he does his own birthday, he does it with the less privileged. We have had governors who would not even allow you close to the Government House. Governors that had political crises from January to December.
“This man has not had one political crisis. This man never traveled out of the state. He is not a traveling governor. The man relates with the masses. He came down to their level. He brought governorship on the floor for everybody. So that is the essence of dedicating this to him. I want him to know that he has done well and will be remembered”.
“He will be remembered in the media. He will be remembered in every other place. Despite the economic downturn, despite the recession, despite the bailouts, the man has been able to satisfy a lot of yearnings. He has written his name in gold. Like I said, that is the essence of dedicating my birthday to him.”