A former governor of old Enugu State and former national chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Okwesilieze Nwodo and the former deputy governor of the state, Ezenwata Itanyi have expressed satisfaction with the performance of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi in office in spite of the nation’s economic, security and public health challenges. 

They also declared their unalloyed support for the governor’s quest to represent Enugu North senatorial district in the National Assembly on the platform of PDP.

The duo, who are from Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area of Enugu State, also expressed satisfaction with the profile, vision, credibility and action plan of the PDP governorship candidate, Peter Ndubuisi Mbah, and reiterated their support for his candidature.

They equally declared their support for all other candidates of the PDP and urged the people to come out en masse and vote for the PDP at the polls.

Speaking at Ogbede, the headquarters of Igbo-Etiti council, during the governor’s visit to the council, yesterday, Nwodo said the huge crowd that came out to receive Ugwuanyi was a testament to his popularity and their appreciation of his administration’s remarkable achievements in the council in particular and the state in general.

The former governor of old Enugu State revealed that the PDP had won all the elective positions in Igbo-Etiti council since 1999, adding that “this time will not be an exception.” 

Nwodo told Governor Ugwuanyi that “you have come to fulfil the rules of campaign because as long as we are here, we have decided to follow PDP, no going back, no turning back.”

Speaking on Mbah’s candidacy, Nwodo stated that the PDP governorship candidate “going by his profile, his vision and plans for Enugu State, Mbah is not supposed to campaign. Mbah is solid; Mbah is credible.

Commending the governor for his laudable achievements in the state, especially in Igbo-Etiti council and Enugu North senatorial district, the former PDP national chairman said: “I am happy that Ezenta Ezeani (lawmaker representing Igbo-Etiti East constituency) has highlighted the projects our governor did for us especially in our place and also in Enugu State.

“Projects that touch a large number of people. I don’t think there is any government in the whole Nigeria that has targeted the youths and the rural dwellers like that of Gburugburu (Ugwuanyi).

“You know he (Ugwuanyi) came to the area of education and we now take first in WAEC examinations in the whole of Nigeria. We know he is the first to build three tertiary institutions, including the medical university at Nsukka (State University of Medical and Applied Sciences, SUMAS, Igbo-Eno). Nobody had attempted three-four tertiary institutions in a state at a time of COVID-19 and economic recession.

“On road infrastructure, there were some roads in Enugu State that had been neglected for 30 to 50 years. He (Ugwuanyi) went to those communities and tarred them and opened up their areas and gave them hope for economic activities.

“Your entrepreneurial training for children is second to none. Anybody that is in this state who is a young person, who wants to acquire skills and become an employer of labour has every opportunity to do so now. Anyone waiting for a white collar job is holding back himself because we have monumental training programmes for skills acquisition. And that have empowered a lot of our people.

“A lot of our young people were also employed in security; forest guard and neighbourhood watch associations/vigilante. All these have employed a lot of people who could have been doing nothing and become miscreants today.

“So the reason I have to emphasise on what Ezenta has said is that the person going to Senate is the person who understands what Nigeria needs. A man with experience who has been in the House of Representatives; he has been a governor; he can only become a ranking senator. Our prayer and hope is that he becomes the Senate president.”

On his part, Itanyi, corroborating the achievements of Governor Ugwuanyi as earlier highlighted by Ezeani, expressed gratitude to the governor for the emergence of their son, Afojulu Ozoemena, as the chief judge of Enugu State and Martins Oke as the PDP candidate for Igbo-Etiti/Uzo-Uwani federal constituency.

Itanyi went further to thank Governor Ugwuanyi for the remarkable role he played when their son, John Nnia Nwodo emerged as the president general of the Igbo apex socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, saying: “I was present on that day and if not for you (Ugwuanyi), it couldn’t have been possible.” 

He equally appreciated the governor for the appointment of their sons and daughters into sensitive government positions, such as the Secretary to the State Government, Simon Uchenna Ortuanya, Commissioner for Lands and Urban Development, Nnanyelugo Chidi Aroh, the Chairman, Local Government Service Commission in the person of Osy Okanya, among others.

On development projects, Itanyi applauded Governor Ugwuanyi for choosing Igbo-Etiti council among the seven councils where model Type-3 Primary Healthcare Centres were constructed and inaugurated to enhance provision of healthcare services in the rural areas.

“The roads you (Ugwuanyi) constructed in Igbo-Etiti are many and I am not here to count them. The ones I will talk about are the ones I passed through today while coming here because I came from Agu-Ukehe. The road you are constructing from Ukehe to Umunko is a very important road. It only took me an hour to be here but before it normally takes me two hours.

“Our father, the governor, we are promising you that we will deliver you and Martins Oke (PDP candidate for Igbo-Etiti/Uzo-Uwani federal constituency). When you get to the National Assembly, you will be a ranking member. You have the knowledge it takes to be in the National Assembly. When you get there, there is what they call constituency projects, bring back appointments and projects. That is what we want.

“We are promising you that we will stand by the umbrella; because umbrella is a life shade for everybody. We promise to vote the umbrella (PDP) all the way at the polls. Everybody must deliver his polling booth; everybody must deliver his ward and we will deliver Igbo-Etiti council so that at the end of the day when we come out with our number of votes, you and Mbah, Martins Oke, Ezeani, and others will give us our due rights,” he said.